ISSUE 231 | November 10, 2023

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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News

Northeastern and Central PA Receive Renewable Energy Funding

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) funds up to 75 percent of recipients' renewable energy projects.

NEPA and Central PA have recently received nearly $750,000 of a $3.6 million disbursement for renewable energy development.

In addition to the projected environmental impact, this investment is expected to save Pennsylvania’s businesses half a million dollars each year.   

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Rural Healthcare Providers Struggle to Treat Cancer


Rural residents battling cancer face increased financial, social and physical barriers to treatment in comparison to urban patients.

According to a 2020 study by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, 66 percent of rural counties across the U.S. have no oncologists.

The Department of Health Policy and Management Research at the University of Pittsburgh recommend that treatment centers and legislators create more options for people to stay in their communities while receiving treatment, which would lessen the physical and financial costs of cancer care.  

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Kings Program Offers No-Cost Customized Cars to Children with Disabilities

The nationwide initiative Go Baby Go, which modifies battery-powered toy vehicles for children with disabilities, has a chapter in Kings College.

Research indicates that children with barriers to mobility often miss opportunities for social interaction with their peers.

NEPA Go Baby Go received a $20,000 grant from the Moses Taylor Foundation, and will modify one car per month.  

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Research Spotlight: The Institute's Energy Task Force has produced a number of studies exploring impacts and opportunities as they relate to renewable energy in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Use the link below and scroll down to learn more!

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From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News

Erasure of Medical Debt from Credit Reports May Improve Livelihood

The major credit bureaus recently enacted significant changes to the handling of medical debt in collections. 

Medical debt has constituted most of the debt (PDF) in collections on consumer credit reports for the past decade, lowering consumers’ credit scores and thus limiting their access to loans and other credit.

According to an estimate by The Urban Institute, more than 15 million consumers might have had all their medical debt in collections erased from their credit files in the past year, potentially improving credit scores and removing credit related barriers.  

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Amtrak's Northeastern Region to See $16 Billion Upgrade

President Biden announced a multi-billion-dollar investment aimed at rejuvenating Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, with 25 improvement projects from Boston to Washington DC.

This regional transport system supports 20 percent of the nation's GDP.

Furthermore, more than 2,200 trains operate on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor every day, serving 800,000 passengers, making it the busiest rail corridor in the U.S. and one of the busiest in the world. 


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New California Law Offers Protection from Steep Ambulance Bills

Starting on January 1, 2024, a California law will prohibit balance billing (the practice of billing patients for any ambulance fees not covered by insurance).

California, where nearly three-quarters of emergency ground ambulance rides result in non-covered bills, is the 14th state to provide some protection against balance billing for ground ambulance rides.

At the federal level, an advisory committee established under the No Surprises Act is working on a plan to address the problem nationally.  

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