Donald Norris, Public Policy, in National Journal and the Baltimore Sun

Donald Norris UMBCIn a recent National Journal article on a potential bid for the White House by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, Public Policy Professor and Chair Donald Norris was interviewed for the story and discussed how O’Malley’s relationship with the Clintons could affect the 2016 campaign.

“The Clintons and he are close,” said Norris. “He endorsed her the first time. I don’t know he could run against her without burning a lot of bridges he just doesn’t want to burn.”

Norris was also interviewed for a Baltimore Sun article about the future of the Republican Party in Maryland. “They’ve gone through this ‘pull to the right and then re-center’ dance before,” Norris said. “The tea party right and the fringe Republicans could continue what they’ve done: eating their young, going after each other in primaries to make the party even more conservative and, in turn, more marginal in the rest of the state.”

John Rennie Short, Public Policy, in New York Observer

On December 10, New York Observer published an article on the “Second Gilded Age” in New York City, in which it describes recent increases in spending among the wealthiest New Yorkers. Research by Public Policy Professor John Rennie Short is extensively quoted in the article. The full excerpt is below:

John Rennie Short“In the collection of essays, Geographies of the Super-Rich, published last year, John Rennie Short, a professor of public policy at the University Maryland Baltimore County, refers to this period as the ‘Second Gilded Age.’ Mr. Short estimates that 103,000 people worldwide have a net worth in excess of $30 million, and this upper, upper class owns about 40 percent of global assets. The holdings of the 66 New Yorkers on the most recent Forbes 400 list (led by David Koch with $42.9 billion) adds up to an astounding $390.67 billion dollars—more than the gross domestic product of Thailand, a nation with 67 million people.

Mr. Short detects similarities between the two eras. Striking inequality was seen as evidence of Social Darwinism. And it is again, he suggests. ‘Wealth is justified not simply as a result of luck or connections,’ he writes, ‘but as a ‘natural’ phenomenon and hence immune to political change and social debate.’

He also notices contrasts. It was de rigueur for elites in the late 19th century to live a life of leisure, but today’s captains of industry flaunt their industriousness. ‘The hardworking rich replace the idle rich,’ as Mr. Short puts it.”

To read the full article titled “Gilded Age 2.0: New York’s Richest CEOs, Artists, and Pro Athletes,” click here.

School of Public Policy Hosts Forum on Maryland’s Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC)

Public Policy Forum

Maryland is in the process of implementing a new all-payer model for hospital payment. Under this system, the federal government permits the statewide Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) to regulate hospital prices. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved the all-payer model effective January 1, 2014.

On Friday, December 5, the UMBC School of Public Policy hosted a forum at the Columbus Center in downtown Baltimore to examine how hospitals and health care providers are adapting to the new model and its effect the people it serves.

Robert Murray, President of Global Health Payment LLC, and Donna Kinzer, Executive Director of the HSCRC, provided detailed overviews of the history of hospital payments in Maryland and a description of the new system and how it shifts focus to patients with the goal of improving health outcomes and controlling costs. Kinzer discussed how the new model will increase efficiency and will align payment with new ways of organizing and providing care.

Following Murray and Kinzer’s presentations, Stephen Jencks, an independent consultant and member of the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission, shared how the new model can save costs by increasing care such as prevention, effective management of chronic disease, and care that responds to family and patient preferences.

Stuart Guterman, Vice President for Medicare and Cost Control, The Commonwealth Fund, examined trends in hospital spending nationally and discussed the relationships between hospital payments and costs to talk about the HSCRC’s impact in Maryland in a national context.

The forum, titled, “Controlling Hospital and Health Care Spending in Maryland in the Era of Budget Caps,” was sponsored by the UMBC School of Public Policy, the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (MIPAR), the Hilltop Institute, CareFirst, and LifeBridge Health. The event was organized by UMBC Public Policy Professor David Salkever. For more information, click here.

George La Noue, Public Policy and Political Science, Writes Op-Ed for The Chronicle of Higher Education

As many college athletic programs are preparing for the postseason and finishing fall regular season schedules, there has been an ongoing public discussion about the future of “mid-major” athletics. George La Noue, professor emeritus and research professor of public policy and political science, wrote an op-ed published in The Chronicle of Higher Education in which he analyzed the current state of mid-major athletic programs and discussed what he called their “muddled future.”

George LaNoue

“While media attention is overwhelmingly focused on big-time intercollegiate athletics, a crisis is developing for most of the 351 Division I institutions that cannot afford to play at that level,” wrote La Noue.

La Noue discussed how the NCAA changed its governing structure this year to give more influence to 67 universities in the Power Five football conferences, which left the mid-major programs outside of those conferences to face financial challenges.

“Those colleges are now faced with substantially increasing their athletic expenditures to try to preserve the pretense of Division I status. The Power Five institutions have budgets of three, four, or even five times as much as that of most mid-majors. They also now have NCAA authority to offer enhanced ‘full cost’ multiyear financial-aid packages to their recruits. The current playing field is decidedly not level. Division I is an unhappy family. Institutional choices for the leftovers will not be easy.”

To read the full op-ed titled “The Muddled Future of Mid-Major Athletics,” click here.

Donald Norris, Public Policy, Writes Baltimore Sun Op-Ed

In advance of the UMBC public policy program 40th anniversary celebration, Donald Norris, professor and chair of the department, wrote an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun in which he defended the value of studying public policy to meet the growing demand for public servants who can improve government at all levels.

Donald Norris UMBC

In the column, Norris discussed the strength of the UMBC public policy program in educating students to make a strong, local impact after graduation: “Over the past 40 years, the public policy graduate program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) has grown from 12 master’s students to 135 doctoral and master’s students. One key to our success is the program’s focus on issues impacting the state,” Norris wrote.

“The UMBC public policy program welcomes students from many nations and many states, but the majority of our students are from Maryland, and the majority of our graduates remain in Maryland. Moreover, at a time when fewer and fewer college students say that they want to work in the public sector, more than half of UMBC’s public policy students who graduated in the last 10 years are employed by Maryland state and local government, federal agencies and nonprofits,” he added.

Norris was also quoted in two recent Baltimore Sun articles analyzing the clout of Maryland’s congressional delegation after the election and a failed loan repayment from Anthony Brown’s campaign. To read the column and articles, click below.

Public policy schools more relevant than ever (Column)
Clout for Maryland lawmakers in Congress slips after midterm elections
Brown failed to repay $500,000 on time 

Controlling Hospital and Health Care Spending in Maryland in the Era of Budget Caps (12/5)

Maryland runs the only all payer hospital payment system in the country. Under this system, the federal government allows a statewide commission, the Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) to regulate hospital prices. Effective January 1, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved a new, innovative all-payer model for hospitals in Maryland. The goal of the all-payer model is to open up new avenues for innovation and increase efficiency in care provided by hospitals.

The purpose of this forum is to examine how hospitals and health care providers in Maryland are adapting to the new model, and the likely effect on the populations that hospitals serve.

There is no cost for this forum, but we do ask that you register in advance. For more information and to register, go to publicpolicy.umbc.edu/forums.

December 5, 2014
8:30 – 11:00 am
Columbus Center, 701 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

Sponsored by the UMBC Department of Public Policy, the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research, The Hilltop Institute, CareFirst, and LifeBridge Health

Political Science and Public Policy Faculty Provide Additional Election Analysis

Following last week’s election, UMBC political science and public policy faculty continued to provide analysis as the final vote totals were tallied and future policy issues were discussed.

Tom SchallerPolitical Science Professor and Chair Thomas Schaller wrote a column in the Baltimore Sun in which he analyzed the results in Maryland’s gubernatorial election. He noted that Governor-Elect Larry Hogans’s victory was, “less about turnout than a conversion of the Maryland electorate.” Schaller discussed his column on WYPR’s “Midday with Dan Rodricks” (begins at 23:40) and WBAL’s “The C4 Show.”

Donald Norris UMBCPublic Policy Professor and Chair Donald Norris was interviewed for a Washington Post article in which he commented on how the Congressional elections will affect Maryland: “’It’s going to be a really ugly two years’ for Maryland, said Norris. In particular, he said, federal funding for the Chesapeake Bay cleanup will likely be at risk. Republicans may also do their best to blunt federal regulations governing the bay environment.”

Roy Meyers (UMBC)Political Science Professor Roy Meyers was quoted in Grist and discussed Maryland’s stormwater management fee. He stated, “there’s no way to reduce your tax burden if you come up with ways of mitigating stormwater runoff at your home.” Meaning, for example, if you install equipment in your roof that captures the rain, preventing runoff, you still have to pay the stormwater fee.

Tyson King-MeadowsTyson King-Meadows, Chair of the Africana Studies Department and Associate Professor of Political Science, was quoted in a Salt Lake Tribune article and discussed a political study in Utah that he conducted with colleagues at Brigham Young University on racial attitudes and campaign messaging.

To read and listen to complete election coverage by UMBC faculty during the week of November 10, click below.

Thomas Schaller:
Race had a role in Hogan’s win (Baltimore Sun op-ed) 
Midday with Dan Rodricks (WYPR)
The C4 Show (WBAL- audio not posted)

Donald Norris:
With new Congress, D.C. Region is Losing Clout (Washington Post)

Roy Meyers:
Was the shocking outcome of Maryland’s gubernatorial race about rain, or something else? (Grist)

Tyson King-Meadows:
Mia Love: Utahns care little about race (Salt Lake Tribune)