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Entries for August 2021


Our American States

podcastThe cost of higher education, the amount of student loan debt, the percentage of students who receive degrees and other related issues have been debated in legislatures and on the campaign trail. Proposals for a new federal state-partnership on higher education and for free community college are among the issues being debated.

On this podcast we hear from Kevin Carey and Jason Delisle, both experts on higher education policy. Carey is the vice president for education policy and knowledge management at New America, a policy research organization. Delisle is a senior policy fellow at the Urban Institute.

The two discussed the track record on affordability, access and outcomes in U.S public higher education and the different approaches states have taken. They also assessed proposals for state-federal partnerships and the likelihood that different states might have very different attitudes toward the type of partnerships being proposed.

While they differ on a number of points, both agreed the complexities of how a federal-state partnership would work are largely missing from the public debate.

This topic also will be on the agenda for NCSL’s Legislative Summit in Tampa, Fla., Nov. 3-5.

Kevin Carey, New AmericaJason Delisle, Urban Institute





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The crushing strain of caring for patients the last year and half of pandemic has taken a toll on health care workers. Legislatures play an important role in this area by creating laws for licensure and regulation.

On the podcast to discuss the workforce and how to help health care workers cope with the current challenges is Dr. Luis Padilla, the associate administrator for health workforce at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Padilla also serves as director of the National Health Service Corps.

Padilla discusses how HRSA supports states in strengthening the workforce. He also talked about the growing role of telehealth and the important role states have in regulating scope of practice rules.

The other guest is Sydne Enlund from NCSL. Enlund tracks of scope of practice laws across the country and maintains a website on the topic with interactive maps dealing with nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists and more. She discusses the role legislatures have played in modifying regulations for workers during the pandemic.

Dr Luis Padilla, HRSASydne Enlund, NCSL





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One of the most promising areas of cancer treatment involves identifying the cancer a person has and using therapies targeted at just that cancer. This field of precision medicine or targeted medicine is not well understood by most lawmakers or the general public.

On the podcast to discuss this emerging field is Dr. Carl Morrison, a molecular biologist and pathologist who is the senior vice president of Scientific Development and Integrative Medicine at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, N.Y. He is one of the nation’s leading researchers in the field.

Our second guest is Karmen Hanson, a policy expert at NCSL. She explains why these new treatments are important for legislators to understand, both so they can aid their constituents and because of the costs to the health care system.

Dr. Carl MorrisonKarmen Hanson, NCSL






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