Health The medical world is growing more aware of the magnitude of medical errors. A study published in The British Medical Journal in May estimated that medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer. Yet the agency charged with tracking them in Pennsylvania does its number crunching in the dark.
Environment The cost can be daunting for many homeowners, but Pennsylvania’s solar policies and the resulting shortcomings in the solar industry here can make the financial hurdle seem practically insurmountable for low-income residents.
Heroin crisis As overdoses swelled, state lawmakers created Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, elevating it from a humble bureau, and then made it the department with the smallest operations budget in the commonwealth, according to state financial documents.
They also failed to fully restore funding to local drug treatment, which has been cut in several recent budgets. That means fewer resources amid a worsening crisis and shortages of detox beds and slots for long-term drug treatment.
Public safety The state background check system has cost tens of millions of dollars to operate over 20 years, and fees have never covered the cost.
Some Second Amendment advocates don’t take kindly to the notion of raising the price, while other Pennsylvanians worry that relying on free national background checks will result in weaker screenings, even as a nationwide debate rages on how to keep the wrong people from getting powerful weapons.
Health According to the AARP, there are about 40 million family members in the United States taking care of their loved ones at home.
That’s where the CARE Act comes in. Pennsylvania passed a bill in April to address some of the challenges caregivers face, and hospitals have until next April to figure out how to provide the support and education required by it. How effective it can be remains to be seen.
Overlooked communities In group homes, teenagers are deprived of a family setting, which can affect how they develop relationships and view family life. It also contributes to problems engaging at school.