ABOUT THE EPISODE

How has COVID-19 revealed and exacerbated fundamental disagreements over federalism in the United States that have been brewing for 230 years? Why does disaster reveal the broken linkages between different layers of government? Dr. Don Kettl, the Sid Richardson Professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at University of Texas-Austin, discusses the impact of federalism on disaster governance in the United States and how this dynamic has played out during the pandemic as of April 2020. Dr. Kettl gives a broad stroke history of American federalism from the founding to the present day, showing the problems presented by federalism are still unresolved. He also talks about the surprising correlation between state lockdown policies and ACA Medicaid Expansion, revealing the larger systemic differences between states. Dr. Kettl talks about why he sees the current configuration as unsustainable and discusses a path forward for the government after the pandemic ends. For further reading: “New Jersey reports 460 coronavirus deaths, highest single-day death toll” A Failure of Initiative The Divided State of America: Why Federalism Doesn’t Work

TRANSCRIPT

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