Federal Student Loan Programs

Renewal of the Federal student loan program is in the press these days as debate takes place over what rates are appropriate and what the programs should look like in the future.

  • Should the Federal government be in the student loan business?
  • Given the concern about graduating students’ debt load (and, even more so, about the debt load of students who fail to graduate), is a Federal subsidy to encourage more borrowing appropriate?
  • Do other ways to finance education (such as a “levy” on future income) better align costs and benefits?

Infectious Diseases

  • Have we become complacent as a result of relatively few massive US epidemics?
  • How should the risk of epidemic be managed?  Global (WHO), national (CDC), local?
  • Are we doing what we need to do to manage the risks?
    • Annual flu vaccines?
    • Stockpiling other vaccines and treatments for the epidemic risks?
  • Do we need to do more to curtail the risk, or is the current system sufficient?
  • Who should pay for enhanced “epidemic prevention/management?

Heath Education in the U.S.

It seems that one of the major drivers of increasing US healthcare costs is the American lifestyle, which (arguably) is skewed toward poor diet, lack of exercise, etc.  So improved health education may be one of the keys to managing costs and improving heathcare “outcomes” metrics (life expectancy, infant mortality, etc.).

  • What sort of heath education will improve results?
  • Where (in school, in home, via media, via heath professionals (doctors/nurses)?
  • Who should pay for it?  How (taxes, health insurance, other?)

A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues

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