Happy 2014 TCF-ers! This week’s #TCFBest begins with some nostalgia for a smaller city via Atlantic Cities’ portrait of city plans from 200 years ago. ThinkProgress offers some optimism in the world of healthcare, and Wonkblog brings us the graph of the year.
A bite-sized metro.
The digitization of the 1932 map collection Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States by the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab led to the creation of interactive comparisons between today’s cities and those dating back through the 1700s. Atlantic Cities showcases one chapter devoted to the “plans of cities,” which overlays antique maps on top of modern day metropolitan areas to compare the “quaint” visions of city planners to the massive scale of cities today. For example, the original plan for New York could fit almost entirely in today’s Financial District. To see just how sweet these original maps were, visit Atlantic Cities.
We repeat, healthcare reform is still happening.
After a study released this week showed participants of the new Medicaid expansion (under the Affordable Care Act) are making more trips to the ER, critics of the ACA naturally defaulted to the “Obamacare is flawed” argument. ThinkProgress points out, however, that this is far from the truth. In fact, increased ER visits after the newly insured receive coverage is par for the course in implementing systems like those in Canada, Massachusetts and now the ACA. Health industry experts aren’t surprised by these findings and instead assert these increased trips will decrease — the newly insured are simply relying on old habits. When the ER habits break, the ACA provides for ways to steer people away from emergency rooms and into primary care. To get to the bottom of things, go to ThinkProgress.
The myth of the “American Dream.”
Student loan debt is a topic oft-discussed at TCF, like Benjamin Landy’s illustrated explainer “See Jane Default.” It seems the Washington Post’s Wonkblog recognizes education debt as being important too, because Peter Thiel’s favorite graph of 2013 highlights just that: an entire generation of Americans are crushed under student debt while tuition costs soar and wages fall. To see the graph in full, head over to Wonkblog.