Online public consultation puts citizens in their elected officials’ shoes by simulating the process they go through in making policy decisions – getting briefed, hearing arguments, coming to decisions – using an online instrument called a “policymaking simulation.” VOP has worked with the Program for Public Consultation to develop simulations on the following issues, give one a try!

Alexander-Murray Changes to ACA

This survey presents the three key provisions of the Alexander Murray bill, that addresses issues with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and asks respondents to evaluate arguments for and against each provision.  These include reversing the Trump administration cuts for outreach and education for the ACA exchanges,  a provision for health-care cost subsidies for low-income people, and a provision for allowing Americans over the age of 30 to obtain lower end ‘copper’ healthcare plans (which is now less relevant since the individual mandate was repealed in the recent tax reform legislation).

Net Neutrality

An issue for consideration calls for changing the regulations for Internet Service Providers. The proposal is to reverse a set of existing regulations known as ‘net neutrality.’ Learn the arguments for and against net neutrality and determine whether you favor or oppose the proposal to reverse the existing  regulations.

Lobbying Restrictions and Former Presidents

This simulation focuses on legislation to extend the waiting period prohibiting for former Members of Congress from lobbying Congress after leaving office.  Another set of questions presented a proposal to end the financial support for former US Presidents, as called for in H.R. 2298 sponsored by Rep. Sensenbrenner [R-WI-5].  Currently, former US Presidents get financial support to cover the ongoing costs associated with the activities of being a former president, including office space, staffing and travel.

Addressing the Medicare Shortfall

In the course of doing this simulation, you will learn many interesting things about Medicare so your recommendations about how to address the Medicare shortfall will be well informed. This simulation will take about 25 minutes to complete. Everything you will see has been reviewed by experts and Congressional staffers, both Democrats and Republicans, so you can be assured that it is factual and balanced. Afterwards, you’ll be given the opportunity to share what you’ve learned with your Congressional representatives, if you choose to.

Federal Poverty Programs

Go through our policymaking simulation on federal Poverty programs to learn about the issues, hear pro and con arguments, and then decide which reforms you want Congress to adopt. If you wish, you can share what you learn with your representatives in Congress.

Social Security Reform

Go through our policymaking simulation on Social Security Reform to learn about the issue, hear pro and con arguments, and then decide which reforms you want Congress to adopt. If you wish, you can share what you learn with your representatives in Congress.

Energy and Environment

One of the challenges we face today is that the way we produce energy has some negative impacts on the environment. In this survey, we would like to introduce some proposals for changing the way energy is produced and used to reduce air pollution and reduce production of greenhouse gases. We will give you some background on these issues, introduce you to both sides of the debate on these proposals, and then give you a chance to make your recommendations. At the end of the survey, you will have an opportunity to forward your recommendations to your members of Congress.

The Defense Budget

The Program for Public Consultation developed a policymaking simulation that provides a briefing on the defense budget from diverse perspectives, along with arguments for and against cutting spending levels by category. Working online, you can go through this exercise and specify your preferred level in each area, and make your own defense budget.

The Federal Budget

How would you reshape the U.S. Federal Budget? Try this policymaking simulation and learn about the tough decisions on revenues and spending that are facing Congress as they determine the FY2017 Budget.

Postal Service Reform

It may not sound glamorous, but postal reform has serious fiscal implications for the federal government, and is an issue that has Democrats and Republicans in Congress at loggerheads.  See if you can fix the problem in our simulation.

The Iran Deal: Continue or Withdraw?

This brief simulation provides information on the main terms of the deal that was negotiated between Iran, the U.S. and other world powers over Iran’s nuclear program, as well as arguments for and against withdrawing and arguments for and against continuing with the deal. Should the U.S. withdraw or continue with the deal?

The Iran Nuclear Deal

As the deal with Iran over its nuclear enrichment program was being debated on Capitol Hill, this Citizen Cabinet survey asked the American public to weigh in on what they thought Congress should do. Get a short briefing on the deal, learn about the options that Congress was considering, and hear the arguments — pro and con.