ISSUE 251 | April 4, 2024

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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News

As PA’s Medicaid “Unwinding” Hits a Year, Thousands Have Lost Coverage but Many Haven’t

This month marks one year since Pennsylvania began to “unwind” its Medical Assistance Program implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This program allowed individuals to stay enrolled in Medicaid without having to complete the annual re-enrollment process and has now left more than three million Pennsylvanians with undetermined coverage status.

Although many have been able to keep their enrollment, 738,600 have lost Medicaid coverage, as the state examines solutions for those who need renewals. 

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As Methadone Regulations Modernize, Many in Rural and Suburban PA Still Lack Access

A new federal act taking effect this month will aim to make opioid use disorder treatment more patient-centered.

Methadone is a highly effective yet highly regulated medication that reduces withdrawal symptoms but is often only available through specialized clinics.

Pennsylvania’s Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs have begun to work with clinicians to review new methadone regulations, addressing the large barriers to access and care that those living in rural PA face. 

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Why PA’s Efforts to Regulate Social Media Companies Have Failed so Far


Despite efforts from Bipartisan groups, Pennsylvania lawmakers are struggling to address privacy and other concerns with unregulated social media use.

This comes amidst national legislative debates on the ethics of AI-generated content, social media use on state-owned phones, and regulations for minors.

Pennsylvania’s efforts have been stalled due to tech lobbying and other concerns and is now exploring the long-term implications of regulated media use.    

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From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News

About Half of Americans Say Public K-12 Education is Going in the Wrong Direction


Approximately 51 percent of Americans say that national K-12 systems are generally going in the wrong direction, as opposed to only 16 percent saying that they are satisfied with its direction.

The main reported complaint was that schools are not spending enough time on core academic subjects.

Pew Research explores the reasons behind public dissatisfaction with education, and how views vary by subject group. 


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A Boston Food Co-op is Testing a New Approach to Equitable Community Solar 

Boston-based Dorchester Food Co-op is testing a community ownership model for Solar power.

Testing in one of the city’s lowest income neighborhoods, this project allows residents to buy into the program and split any savings and revenue, in addition to reducing carbon emissions.

Community Solar is an idea that has been explored for roughly 20 years, but now faces new potential as federal climate policies cold make it more accessible for urban areas nationwide. 

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Making Things, Better: Federal Support for US Manufacturing

Manufacturing makes up 11 percent of total gross domestic product, making it one of the largest sectors of the US economy.

However, employment in the industry has fallen by 7 million participants in the last few decades, meaning that although the US is a leader in manufacturing innovation, most of its production is conducted elsewhere.

This article discusses new government programs aiming for domestic manufacturing revitalization, along with its economic and security benefits. 

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