Debating Entitlements: Medicare’s Eligibility Age

(image by Evan Blaser) It’s an election year. Politics and policy conversations –whether intelligent or not- seem to be everywhere. This election cycle we have heard quite a bit about the economy but surprisingly not much about entitlements – at least not since the Republican primary ended. This is surprising considering entitlement spending accounts for nearly half of the federal government’s budget.  That makes the … Continue reading Debating Entitlements: Medicare’s Eligibility Age

WMPR Symposium: U.N. Sustainable Development Goals

(image by Sanjit Bakshi

The William & Mary Policy Review held its second annual Policy Symposium on Friday, April 8, 2016. The Symposium focused on last year’s passage of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a list of seventeen goals with 169 targets meant to replace the successful Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Though the SDGs are a successor to the MDGs, which ran from 2000-2015, those goals had only eight main goals and twenty-one targets, rendering the SDPs much more comprehensive and, potentially, much more difficult to achieve.

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Is Zika Just the Boogeyman?

(image by Evan Blaser

by Erin Gunderson, Staff Writer

Do the U.S.’s Public Health Bureaucracies Have Both the Resources and Information They Need to Prevent a Crisis?

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus related to West Nile and Dengue that has experienced a recent surge in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean.  There is a correlation between pregnant women who become infected with Zika and a condition called microcephaly that is associated with serious birth defects.  The spread of the virus and the grave implications for children born to infected mothers have caused public and governmental alarm.  However, the majority of countries facing public health crises at the hands of Zika are considered by the World Bank to be developing nations, with limited resources and infrastructure.  Such nations include Brazil and Honduras.  Does the U.S.’s status as a wealthy developed country with advanced public health policy networks make the Zika virus a low level threat? Continue reading “Is Zika Just the Boogeyman?”

Beef with the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for 2015-2020

(image by Army Medicine

by Kindyl Boyer 

Just like your fad-diet-loving aunt at Christmas dinner, the U.S. government has given its citizens a little advice on what they should be taking off their plates this year, most notably: sugar. So, go ahead and finish off your secret stash of Christmas cookies you’ve been harboring in your freezer, but before you fool anyone with your “healthy” yogurt check out its nutritional facts. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services’s (HHS) 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans claims that the average citizen consumes over 13 percent of his or her calories from added sugars, like those commonly found in sodas, fruity drinks, sweets and processed foods (even those boasting slogans like, “Natural!” or “Light!”). (Dietary Guidelines 2015-2020, 2016.) These guidelines recommend curbing added sugar intake to less than 10 percent of our daily calories. This is a victory for nutritionists and public health officials who blame sugar for the prevalence of obesity and diabetes in our nation. (Eunjung Cha.)  Continue reading “Beef with the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for 2015-2020”

The Failure of the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals

(image by Sanjit Bakshi

by Rory Mondshein

In 2000, 189 member-states came together to confirm their collective commitment to creating a better world for themselves, their citizens, and their children. By the end of the Millennium Summit, the General Assembly identified eight international development goals to complete by 2015: (1) eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; (2) universal primary education; (3) advocating gender equality and female empowerment; (4) reducing childhood mortality; (5) ameliorating maternal health; (6) combating diseases; (7) promoting environmental sustainability; and (8) fostering a closer global community.

While no one can object to saving children and ending poverty, it appears that the delegates’ vision for a better world blinded their judgment on what was realistically attainable. While the U.N. was right to set high standards for itself and not settle for anything less, the problem was that the Millennium Development Goals failed to acknowledge the root of these issues and help countries develop roadmaps for actually achieving them. Continue reading “The Failure of the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals”

Policy Review Panel Discussing Cost Containment of Health Care

(image by Evan Blaser)  In anticipation of the upcoming publication of Susan Channick’s “The ACA, Provider Mergers and Hospital Pricing: Experimenting With Smart, Lower-Cost Health Insurance Options” in the Review, the journal editors recently hosted a panel to discuss the implications of the paper, and cost containment after the Affordable Care Act. Guests at the panel were Claire Winiarek of Anthem and Professor Jennifer Mellor, director … Continue reading Policy Review Panel Discussing Cost Containment of Health Care

King v. Burwell: Background and Implications

(image by Mitchell Shapiro)  By Amanda Weidner The case of King v. Burwell was granted a writ of certiorari on November 7th, 2014, to be heard by the United State Supreme Court in June 2015. The case challenges the IRS’s expansion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (PPACA) main taxing and spending provisions. The issue asks whether or not Section 1321 of PPACA … Continue reading King v. Burwell: Background and Implications