RealClearPublicAffairs is a new series of sponsored curation designed to provide coverage of important and trending public policy issues. It's a deep dive into curated content that we think will engage our audience and deepen their understanding of topical concerns facing our nation's decisionmakers.

America is ready for the Covid off-ramp, and it was the public that led the way, not the expert class. The American people grew increasingly frustrated by the politics of Covid. Politicians have waffled while lockdowns and restrictions became obviously less and less about the science. It's time to get back to advancing medical progress and patient-centric care. The American people have opened the off-ramp to what’s next. Join us here at Reimagining Healthcare to discuss and resolve the best path forward. 

Why did the public-health community abandoned its near universal opposition to lockdowns? One answer is found in a Johns Hopkins study from 2019: “... travel restrictions and quarantine, might be pursued for social or political purposes by political leaders, rather than pursued because of public health evidence.”

In the days and weeks ahead, Reimagining Healthcare will examine the healthcare issues impacting the 2022 Mid-Term Elections: the public-health disaster of lockdowns and masking; Certificate-of-Need laws hinder innovation; price controls on prescription medicines are threatening access to new cures; and proposals putting Medicare in jeopardy. Expect a civil, yet, spirited discussion on the most pressing health policy topics being debated in Congress and State Houses across the country. 

What does ‘Reimagining Healthcare’ mean? It’s simple, really.

A reimagined healthcare system puts patients first and equips medical professionals with the most advanced tools to save and improve the lives of the American people. Innovation, invention, and modernity are the keys to medical progress; to new cures and novel therapies; to healthier lives.  

America is built on progress, and this is true across all sectors, especially in healthcare, medicine, and science. However, the Covid-19 pandemic exposed a tragic reality: America’s healthcare system – your healthcare system – is undermined by too much bureaucracy and red tape that prevents doctors, nurses, and medical researchers from helping people.

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Our healthcare system requires innovation. The arrival of the next pandemic as serious as Coronavirus is a matter of when, not if, and it could come from any corner of the globe. What we know for certain is that we cannot fight tomorrow’s pandemic or find a cure for cancer or reform our healthcare system by moving in reverse. We must examine, and reimagine, how we govern and regulate healthcare in America.   

In response to the Covid crisis, state and federal authorities removed many of the bureaucratic barriers that stood in the way of doctors, nurses, and researchers doing their jobs.

  • Telemedicine restrictions were waived to allow safer doctor visits from home.
  • Researchers were allowed to develop better and faster tests and market them outside the government system.
  • Licensing laws were suspended, giving medical professionals the ability to work where they were needed most.
  • And restrictions on hospital beds and equipment were lifted.

The result? American lives were saved.

What’s more, the success of Operation Warp Speed in bringing a Covid-19 vaccine to market in a 10-month span is a medical miracle performed by an unprecedented public/private partnership. America’s innovative bio-pharmaceutical industry went to work as government cleared the way of burdensome rules and regulations. What usually takes up to ten years, America’s innovative pharmaceutical sector accomplished – the design and testing of a new vaccine – in less than ten months. Nothing short of remarkable – miraculous really – in the history of science and medicine. 

We cannot go back to bureaucratic slowdowns and regulatory barriers. Advancing backwards is not progress. We must reimagine America’s healthcare system to be innovative and patient-centered.

Won’t Get Fooled Again

After the pandemic, Americans should never let public-health authorities deprive them of their liberties.

GOP Must Seize Control of Health Care Narrative

If the polls are any indication, Republicans will take control of Congress in this fall's midterm elections. After a year and a half of unified Democratic rule, voters in much of the country appear to be looking for something different.

The Covid Off-Ramp Is Right in Front of Us

The public is ready to take the off ramp from the pandemic, and political and governmental decisions are often lagging indicators of change.

10 Biggest Covid Mistakes

The American people, and children in particular, deserve an apology.

Exploring Pathways to Affordable, Universal Health Coverage

Brian Blase offered testimony that highlighted a number of market-based, patient-friendly reforms, which would make care and coverage more affordable.

The Jerry Rogers Show: The Covid Truths Are Coming Out

On the podcast, Jerry discusses how once taboo notions are now becoming mainstream in another year of the pandemic. Joined by Brian Blase, president of the Paragon Health Institute, Eric Hargan, former Health and Humans Services Secretary and more, plus the Liberty Update with Brian Darling and the Media Jolt with Dan Gainor.

Covid, Fear, and Politics

Bedford on FoxNews: "It’s long past time to stop fearing, stigmatizing Covid"

Andrew and Jerry 'Save Health Care'

As the world continues to struggle with Covid19, what's going on with health care policy in America more generally? Andrew and Jerry (who edits Real Clear Health) tee up what Congress and the Biden Administration are doing with health care, they talk with Eric Hargan, former Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services, and talk about how things like telemedicine and incentives to innovate can increase access and reduce costs!

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The American republic rests upon the foundation of “E Pluribus Unum” — out of many, one. Although the Founders knew from their own experience that a vast diversity in outlooks and opinions would be present among the country’s citizens, they understood that such diversity must rest upon principles and practices we hold in common. It is up to each generation to make sure that this foundational unity remains intact. This project on American Civics seeks to contribute to that worthy cause.(((break)))

These pages will bring together, into one place, the clearest, most accessible materials on the American experiment. Visitors will gain insight into topics ranging from the “self-evident” truths described in the Declaration of Independence and the framework that the Constitution set in place to prevent tyranny and secure rights and liberties to the virtues citizens must possess in order to enjoy freedom and self-government. Nor will we shy away from exploring the greatest injustices in U.S. history, including slavery and racial discrimination. Present at the Founding, they were departures from the nation’s founding principles. Neither this paradox, nor these injustices define America, however. Rather, it is on the basis of those principles that they are rightly condemned—and ultimately addressed.  

Users will also find the 1776 Series: a collection of accessible essays written by scholars that explore how the American Founders understood themselves and the system of government they implemented. These essays will give readers a clear and concise understanding of important American themes, such as the republican nature of the U.S. Constitution and Abraham Lincoln’s deep appreciation of the moral foundations of American self-government. These pages will also curate modern thinking on topics such as balancing the desire for security with the innate American impulse for individual freedom; the challenge of preserving judicial independence in a polarized political environment; how to simultaneously foster intellectual curiosity and tolerance among a generation ready to take democracy’s baton and run with it.

RealClearPublicAffairs is a new series of sponsored curation designed to provide coverage of important and trending public policy issues. More About

The 1619 Lesson

A self-respecting people must be a self-critical people, open to introspection and ready to repent of real sin. But self-criticism is...

The Pragmatic American

While American partisans have altered their policy opinions to match the ideologies of the political class, regular Americans...

Civic Education Requires Liberal Education

Are liberal education and civic education related? Perhaps the immediate answer is “No.” At its best, a decent liberal education...

The Declaration’s Vision Should Unite Us

Deep divisions and endless hostility – especially around the controversial topics of race and discrimination – threaten to tear...

Reading 'To Kill a Mockingbird' by Harper Lee

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you...

Great Nineteenth Century American Statesmen

In this episode of The American Idea, Jeff welcomes back Dr. Jason Stevens, Professor of Political Science at Ashland University and...

How Does the Federal Court System Work?

The federal judiciary system has three steps: district court, circuit court, and the Supreme Court, and despite what you see on...

Recovering Statesmanship

Professor Daniel J. Mahoney joins Brian Anderson to discuss history’s great statesmen, the classical and Christian underpinnings...

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For democracy to work, the electoral process must engender widespread trust. Yet public opinion surveys show that significant segments of the losing side in a presidential election lack faith in the integrity of the process. Only one-third of Republican voters believe that the 2020 presidential election was “free and fair.” After the 2016 contest, a smaller, but still significant, group of Democrats—28 percent—expressed skepticism that the votes had been counted accurately. Moreover, overall confidence in the fairness of U.S. elections has been falling for more than a decade.(((break)))

This is unsustainable. Self-government depends not only on voters’ confidence in the election process, but on the absence of actual vote fraud and other election failings. These shortcomings range from inequitable barriers to registration and voting to miscounted votes, confusing election rules, deficient technology, poor training, and manipulation of the voting process by one or both of the United States’ two dominant political parties. Addressing these deficiencies is a tall order, but one essential step in restoring Americans’ faith in their own institutions. As sociologist Zeynep Tufekci writes:

There’s a tendency to assume that widespread public mistrust is unfixable, that those people are not reality-based and so there’s nothing to be done. But mistrust—including the kind that’s deliberately fostered—does not thrive in a vacuum. Fixing what we can, and creating processes that are designed to resist efforts to cast doubt, is the right thing to do.

This page, which curates research, commentary, and analysis, seeks to support serious dialogue and debate on reforms to restore faith in U.S. elections and assure their integrity.

From expanding healthcare access to building strong state economies to empowering parents through education reform, states are leading the way in breaking down barriers to opportunity and improving lives. See the latest state policy trends and examples of federalism in action below.

Kalev Hannes Leetaru explores how the intersection of technology, traditional journalism, and social media are changing the foundations of modern society in ways that both strengthen and threaten the foundations of democracy.

These ways include: the increasingly blurred lines between mainstream and social media, professional and citizen journalists; the erosion of free speech as the public square is privatized by social media companies, while the vibrant free exchange of ideas that empowers democracy is replaced by an ever-narrowing concept of “acceptable speech” as defined by Silicon Valley; the centralization and coastal urbanization of both mainstream and social media and the resulting consolidation of narratives and loss of diverse local perspectives; the entrenchment of unaccountable fact-checkers with power to determine what is regarded as true and what is prohibited as falsehood; the rise of “stealth editing,” allowing news outlets to banish their mistakes to the digital memory hole; and the accelerating impact of AI on content moderation.

Most of us understand that these trends are changing our societal landscape, yet we understand too little about their transformative impact on democratic societies.

RealClearPublicAffairs’ Technology & Media: Can Democracy Survive is designed to explore these fundamental questions through critical assessments and pioneering new forms of data journalism that rely on hard numbers and deep analysis rather than anecdotes and opinion pieces. Powerful data-driven visualizations for a visual-oriented modern world are coupled with cutting-edge data analyses to sift out the often-counterintuitive reality of today’s technology and media landscapes and offer clues as to where we are heading.

Four key themes drive this discussion:

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Modeling the Media Landscape. How might data-driven quantitative assessment of the media landscape help the public, policymakers, and journalists themselves better understand the lens through which they view the world?

Data-driven analyses explore how the media are covering today’s most pressing issues, from highlighting stark differences in framing, narration and agenda-setting, to uncovering hidden trends. Such insights make it possible to examine big-picture questions like the structure of the global media ecosystem and how it affects the flow of ideas and narratives.

From global-scale network analyses of how the linguistic and emotional framing of stories affect their media coverage to examinations of trends in how the media talk about key societal issues, these explorations use data to shed light on the lens through which the public sees the world.

Quantifying The Fact-Checking Landscape. From their origins as urban myth debunkers, fact-checking sites have begun to wield unprecedented power over the modern digital landscape, deciding what constitutes truth and falsehood.

Little is known about the internal operations of these sites, from their rater guidelines to how they evaluate claims. Only by shining light onto the opaque world of these ultimate arbitrators of reality can we help the public, press, and policymakers understand the subjective reality of fact-checking that lies beneath its scientific veneer.

Broadening Public Understanding of Social Platform Influence. Social media platforms wield extraordinary power over public discourse, deciding what we see and say and even what constitutes acceptable speech.

Yet the public and even policymakers themselves have little understanding of how the policies and decisions of social platforms are affecting the public square and the free exchange of ideas that underpins democracy.

Exploring New Approaches To Understanding The Global Agenda. Finally, how might datasets that have not historically been used to understand the global narrative lend new insight into how media shape our understanding of the world?

The limited airtime of broadcast television forces its editorial decisions to the forefront, making it one of the most valuable mediums through which to compare disparate media agendas; the digital correlate to such editorial oversight is the news homepage, on which only a small fraction of the myriad articles published are linked over the course of each day.

Reconstructing these editorial choices offers insights into the editorial decision-making process of news in the digital era and the degree to which media outlets, in the click-first environs of today, favor stories that stoke societal divisions over those that bring people together or create an informed citizenry.

Similarly, digital news emphasizes ephemerality: an article can be rewritten in real-time as new information arrives, disputed facts are resolved, or editorial considerations require changing the tone. Articles may be rewritten beyond recognition or simply deleted.

How can new forms of media data, from television and news archives to new methodologies like AI, help us see the news in new ways?

Free speech, freedom of association, viewpoint diversity, and open inquiry--these principles are essential to the educational mission of the university, and to the health of civil society.

RealClearPublicAffairs' Free Speech on Campus page is designed to be the leading online forum where conversation on these critical issues can take place.

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In 1974, Yale University published a document officially titled the Report on the Committee of Free Expression at Yale. Widely known as the Woodward Report, after its chairman C. Vann Woodward, it contained this unequivocal line:

“The history of intellectual growth and discovery clearly demonstrates the need for unfettered freedom, the right to think the unthinkable, discuss the unmentionable, and challenge the unchallengeable.”

This was not a new insight. Although he died 150 years before the American Revolution, Francis Bacon hit unerringly on the requirements of a genuine education: reading, writing, and debate. Today, however, college campuses in the United States and much of the western world are replacing debate with coerced conformity. 

The result is an environment that once would have been considered an anathema to the very purpose of higher education: Rigorous exchanges of competing ideas have been replaced by university speech codes, constricted speech zones, commencement speaker “disinvitations, and “no-platforming,” which is university-speak for the heckler’s veto.

Some institutions are pushing back against this trend. By the summer of 2019, 67 U.S. institutions of higher learning had adopted the so-called “Chicago Statement” or a “substantially similar” statement guaranteeing freedom of speech on campus. That leaves nearly 1,600 schools that haven’t, including, ironically, Yale.

A majority of college students, according to a seminal Brookings Institution survey, do not fully support the precepts of the First Amendment; and one-fifth of them believe it’s acceptable to use physical force to silence a speaker who is making “offensive and hurtful statements.”

These students are tomorrow’s judges, jurors, legislators, journalists, and teachers. Operating under the conviction that freedom of speech is essential to the educational mission of the university, and ultimately to the survival of civil society, this page is designed to provide a platform for conversation on this critical topic.

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The most important event in economic history: the harnessing of heat to do work. First coal, then oil, and later natural gas – hydrocarbon energy powered the Industrial Revolution and transformed humanity’s existence for the better. Growth rates in the one and a half millennia before the Industrial Revolution averaged approximately zero. Since then, per capita incomes in a typical free-market economy have risen by amounts ranging from several hundred to several thousand percent.

Visual Capitalist

Yet today, businesses and consumers face demands for the forcible phasing out of fossil fuel energy over the next three decades to stop global temperatures rising by a half a degree Centigrade. This is not just incompatible with capitalism. It is incompatible with modern living. Some six in every seven humans today still live in undeveloped countries. Non-Western nations aspiring to Western standards of living now account for around three-fourths of global CO2 emissions. For this reason alone, whatever the US and other western nations do, net zero by mid-century is simply not going to happen.

Energy policy should be based on facts and reason, from the fundamental physics of energy production and storage to the relation between energy and economic growth. This page is meant to serve as a clearinghouse for research, news, and multimedia that can inform debate over the major energy policy questions of today. Together, these curated materials lay the foundation for the policies that will ensure reliable and affordable energy for businesses and consumers and help the economy bounce back once the COVID-19 pandemic has passed, as well as chart a course for genuine environmental stewardship. 

Pennsylvania is a microcosm of the United States. The state that sparked the American Revolution and fueled the nation’s industrial growth is playing an outsized role in public policy and socioeconomic trends. Its culturally distinct regions—from large metro hubs and sprawling suburbs to Rust Belt cities and rural counties—serve as a crucial bellwether in electoral politics.

From energy and technology to demographics and urban affairs, the Commonwealth figures prominently in national policy discussions. The Covid-19 crisis will only further showcase Pennsylvania as a battleground for public policy. 

This page features noteworthy research, analysis, commentary, and news stories curated from Pennsylvania-based media outlets, national publications, and think tanks. We will examine the most important policy questions confronted by Pennsylvanians.

RealClearPublicAffairs is a new series of sponsored curation designed to provide coverage of important and trending public policy issues. More About