Reports

Report | MoPIRG | Health Care

Making the Grade: A Scorecard for State Health Insurance Exchanges

When it comes to health care, there are few magic-bullet solutions for the many problems consumers face in the marketplace: insurers don’t compete for their business, leading to higher prices and lower quality.  Important information about coverage is buried in the fine print, making it hard to know what’s really covered or which plan is right.  And costs are continuing their unsustainable rise.

Yet there are policy solutions that can make a difference and give consumers a better deal on health care.  One of the most important of these is the creation of new state-based health insurance marketplaces, called exchanges.  These exchanges, authorized by 2010’s health reform law, offer the states the chance to address the twin problems of cost and quality, and help consumers get a fair shake when buying insurance. 

Report | MoPIRG | Financial Reform

Tax-Increment Financing: The Need for Increased Transparency and Accountability in Local Economic Development Subsidies

Tax-increment financing (TIF) has been a widely used tool for municipalities seeking private investment. TIF allows cities and towns to borrow against an area’s future tax revenues in order to invest in immediate projects or encourage present development. When used properly, TIF can promote enduring growth and stronger communities for blighted neighborhoods; but TIF can also end up wasting taxpayer resources or channeling money to politically favored special interests.

Report | Food

Apples to Twinkies

America is facing an obesity epidemic – one that’s hitting children especially hard. Childhood obesity rates have tripled over the last three decades, with one in five kids aged 6 to 11 now obese.

Report | MoPIRG | Food, Tax

Apples to Twinkies: Comparing Federal Subsidies of Fresh Produce and Junk Food

America is facing an obesity epidemic – one that’s hitting children especially hard. The rise in childhood obesity has many causes, but one of the most important is the increased prevalence of high-fat, heavily sweetened junk food. And shockingly, American taxpayers are spending billions to subsidize junk food ingredients, making the problem worse.

Report | U.S. PIRG | Financial Reform

Ten Reasons Why We Need the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Now

This report outlines predatory financial practices that hurt consumers and helped collapse the economy, costing us eight million jobs, millions of foreclosed homes and trillions of dollars in lost home and retirement values. It explains these and other emerging problems as “10 Reasons We Need The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Now.”

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