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In Case You Missed It...

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 20:18:23 +0000

This week at CBPP, we focused on health, family income support, housing, food assistance, and the economy.

SNAP Helped Millions After Hurricanes, Highlighting How Many Are Barely Getting By

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 17:13:30 +0000

SNAP (formerly food stamps) helped millions put food on the table in the months after the fall hurricanes in Florida, Texas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) show. Some 3.6 million people received temporary disaster SNAP benefits in October alone. That’s a reminder of how many Americans are barely getting by, and are just one misfortune away from needing help to provide adequate nutrition for their families.

Washington Waiver Shows How Medicaid Can Support Work

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 17:36:01 +0000

Washington State is about to implement its Medicaid waiver from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to expand services that help beneficiaries with significant physical or behavioral health conditions gain access to housing and employment. That waiver is a positive step forward because it will support work by giving Medicaid beneficiaries more tools to secure employment.

Medicaid Work Requirement Would Harm Unemployed, Not Promote Work

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 16:27:05 +0000

CMS’ new guidance doesn’t provide a convincing rationale for the policy reversal, which could threaten Medicaid coverage for many adults and actually make it harder for some adults to succeed in the labor market due to their loss of health coverage.

Work Requirements Don’t Work

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 20:27:34 +0000

The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is expected to announce this week that states may block some low-income adults from getting Medicaid coverage if they’re not working or participating in work-related activities. But evidence from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program — which policymakers are touting as a model for work requirements in other programs, including Medicaid — shows that work requirements won’t move people out of poverty and eliminate their need for health coverage.

Housing Voucher Policy Designed to Expand Opportunity Targets Areas That Need It

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 19:21:06 +0000

A 2016 rule from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) required state and local housing agencies in 23 metropolitan areas to start using small area fair market rents (SAFMRs) — a promising policy approach that ties housing voucher subsidies to market rents in individual zip codes — in their voucher programs in 2018.

More Evidence Medicaid Expansion Boosts Health, Well-Being

Mon, 08 Jan 2018 20:35:53 +0000

The Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid expansion has produced not only historic health coverage gains but other far-reaching positive effects as well, a large and growing body of research finds.

In Case You Missed It...

Fri, 05 Jan 2018 21:25:11 +0000

This week at CBPP, we focused on health and the economy.

Trump Rule on Association Health Plans Could Devastate Small-Group Markets

Fri, 05 Jan 2018 19:24:04 +0000

The Trump Administration’s proposed new rule to dramatically broaden enrollment in association health plans (AHPs) would likely have a devastating effect on small-group insurance markets, raising premiums for small businesses with older or sicker workers and reducing coverage and consumer protections for people in AHPs. It would likely hurt the individual insurance market as well.

In Case You Missed It . . .

Fri, 22 Dec 2017 16:19:34 +0000

This week at CBPP, we focused on federal taxes, the federal budget, and health care.

Funding for State Reinsurance Programs Can’t Replace Individual Mandate

Thu, 21 Dec 2017 18:01:15 +0000

The Republican tax bill repeals the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate, the requirement that most people have coverage or pay a penalty. Senator Susan Collins has argued that providing temporary federal funding for state reinsurance programs, as the bill she introduced with Senator Bill Nelson would do, could mitigate the harmful effects of mandate repeal.

Commentary: With Tax Cuts for the Top, GOP Leaders Now Aim Budget Cuts at the Bottom

Thu, 21 Dec 2017 17:01:35 +0000

The tax bill will provide a bonanza to the most well-off Americans and profitable corporations, even as it leads millions of Americans to lose health coverage and ultimately raises taxes on many low- and middle-income Americans.

Instead of Boosting Working-Family Tax Credit, GOP Tax Bill Erodes It Over Time

Thu, 21 Dec 2017 15:19:57 +0000

The Republican tax bill not only squanders an important opportunity to help working families by strengthening the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), but it also permanently erodes the EITC’s value over time by adopting a different measure for adjusting tax brackets and certain tax provisions each year to account for inflation (known as the “chained” Consumer Price Index or CPI). That’s especially striking given the bill’s large tax cuts for the wealthy and profitable corporations.

Republican Leaders’ Broken Promises on Taxes, the Budget, and Health

Wed, 20 Dec 2017 19:17:35 +0000

Now that the House and Senate have both passed the Republican tax bill on party-line votes, we’ve updated our list of promises that Republican leaders broke by passing the bill.  Here are seven promises that President Trump and other Republican leaders made about taxes and health coverage that the bill breaks.

JCT: Millions of Households Face Tax Increase or No Tax Benefit Under Republican Tax Bill

Tue, 19 Dec 2017 22:32:18 +0000

Millions of households would face tax increases or get little from the tax bill that the House and Senate are soon expected to pass — even before most of its individual income tax provisions would sunset in 2025, new Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimates show. That’s in stark contrast to claims from GOP leaders that their tax bill “would directly benefit all Americans,” and would not raise taxes for any filers in the middle class.

Previewing the Number of Sign-Ups on

Tue, 19 Dec 2017 20:09:10 +0000

December 15 marked the end of the open enrollment period in the 39 states using, and within the next few days the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will likely release an update detailing how many people selected plans during that period. Here’s what you need to know when comparing this week’s report to enrollment for 2017:

Republicans Chose Corporate Shareholders Over Working Families

Tue, 19 Dec 2017 18:28:13 +0000

The final Republican tax bill, which Republicans are rushing to pass this week, will ultimately raise taxes on many lower- and middle-income households and leave 13 million more people uninsured, to pay for permanent tax cuts for profitable corporations — the opposite of their claim that the bill will “strengthen the middle class.”

JCT Estimates: Final GOP Tax Bill Skewed to Top, Hurts Many Low- and Middle-Income Americans

Tue, 19 Dec 2017 18:15:00 +0000

The final tax bill that the House and Senate will vote on this week provides by far the largest benefits to high-income people.

How Does the Final Republican Tax Bill Affect Your State?

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 19:58:15 +0000


GOP Tax Bill Threatens Housing Assistance, Just as Many Workers Struggle to Pay Rent

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 16:50:05 +0000

The pending Republican tax bill threatens to deeply undermine programs that help low-income Americans keep a roof over their heads, just as a new report shows that the number of struggling renters will likely remain high in the coming years. Nearly a third of new jobs in the coming decade will be low-wage jobs, which typically employ workers who struggle to pay rent, an analysis from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) finds.

Alexander-Murray Wouldn’t Reverse Cost Increases from Individual Mandate Repeal

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 16:44:34 +0000

A number of Senate Republicans have suggested that passing Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray’s bipartisan market stabilization bill would reduce premiums enough to largely or entirely offset the premium increases individual insurance market consumers would face from repealing the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate, the requirement that most peo

Yes, Medicaid Improves Access to Health Coverage and Care

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 16:34:36 +0000

Senator Bill Cassidy’s claim that “patients covered through Medicaid often have worse outcomes than those who are covered through other forms of insurance” is just the latest example of congressional Republicans selectively using data to portray Medicaid and other safety net programs in a negative light, while downplaying much more extensive data that show

UPDATE: California House Members Appear to Be Settling for Bad SALT “Compromise”

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 16:17:23 +0000

Republican House members from California have reportedly pushed to change a provision in the emerging GOP tax bill that eliminates much of the state and local tax (SALT) deduction, which lets taxpayers deduct state and local property taxes and either state and local income taxes or general sales taxes.

Insurers’ Arguments for Shortening Grace Period Don’t Withstand Scrutiny

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 16:04:40 +0000

The savings from the proposal would come from taking coverage and financial assistance away from people who would catch up on premiums within 90 days, but can’t with just 30.  

Republican Leaders Expanding Repatriation Gimmick in Tax Bill

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 22:36:42 +0000

Republican congressional leaders are reportedly making changes to their tax bill — such as cutting the top individual tax rate to 37 percent, from the current 39.6 — that would make the bill costlier and tilt it more to the wealthy. GOP leaders will reportedly “pay for” those added costs, which are intended to be permanent, in part with a higher tax rate on U.S. multinational corporations’ current stock of foreign profits.

House GOP Spending Bill Falls Short on CHIP, Community Health Centers, Puerto Rico

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 19:43:49 +0000

House Republicans’ “continuing resolution” to fund the federal government through January 19 includes bills to continue funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and community health centers.  But those bills suffer from the same fatal flaws as House GOP bills from earlier this fall that have derailed action on these issues for months — even though some states are notifying families that thei

Time Running Out to Get Coverage on

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 17:10:48 +0000

Friday is the last day to sign up for 2018 health coverage on — and that’s particularly important for young adults, especially those aged 26 to 34, to know. While this group’s uninsured rate fell from 23.7 percent in 2013 to 15.7 percent in 2016, younger adults are much likelier to be uninsured compared to those aged 45 to 64. Young people can find great deals in most areas of the country — if they know to enroll.

The Truth About “Welfare Reform”: TANF Is Disappearing

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 20:57:10 +0000

With President Trump and congressional Republicans planning to push next year, under the guise of “welfare reform,” for deep cuts to programs for some of the nation’s poorest and most vulnerable people, what we’ve learned about the impact of an earlier round of “welfare reform” is instructive.

Treasury “Analysis” of Tax Bill Assumes What It Claims to Prove

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 20:07:25 +0000

The Treasury Department’s new one-page “analysis” of the Senate Finance Committee-passed tax bill purports to analyze how much more economic growth and revenue that bill would generate. In reality, it does no such thing. It first assumes what the growth will be and then estimates the revenue that this growth would generate.

New Homelessness Count Shows There’s Still Work to Do

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 21:51:06 +0000

The sobering findings of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) latest annual count of homeless people — that homelessness remains a persistent problem and some communities are losing ground — show that federal policymakers have much to do to help address this serious problem.

California House Members May Settle for Bad SALT “Compromise”

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 21:34:34 +0000

Update, December 14, 2017: This post has been revised.

In Case You Missed It…

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 22:07:34 +0000

This week at CBPP, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, and the economy.

Vast Majority of Americans Would Likely Lose From GOP’s Tax Bills, If GOP Use Spending Cuts to Pay for Them

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 21:59:08 +0000

The House- and Senate-passed Republican tax bills would directly hurt millions of low- and middle-income families by raising their taxes, delivering token or no Child Tax Credit increases, and (in the Senate’s case) leaving millions more uninsured. But that may be just the start of the harm.

Republican Leaders’ Broken Promises on Taxes, the Budget, and Health

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 20:47:56 +0000

The House- and Senate-passed tax bills, from which a House-Senate conference committee will fashion a final bill, violate a number of promises from President Trump and other Republican leaders about taxes and health coverage. Here are seven of their broken promises.

Broken Promise #1: “[N]obody in the middle class is going to get a tax increase.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, November 4, 2017

Republican Tax Plans Cost More — and Add Less to Growth — Than Proponents Claim

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 17:57:46 +0000

In describing their tax plans, Republican lawmakers have relied on overstated claims of economic growth, fuzzy math, and wishful thinking.

Sequestration Deal Should Avoid Harmful Offsets, Divide Funds Equitably

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 14:48:49 +0000

Policymakers should raise the appropriations caps for 2018 and beyond to keep them from holding funding well below what’s needed to address important priorities. But policymakers must also ensure that any provisions to offset the cost of cap increases don’t cause harm — for example, by reducing health coverage or worsening poverty and hardship — and that the additional funding is equitably distributed to meet national needs, improve the government’s ability to provide important services, and fund investments that boost workforce productivity and grow our economy.

GOP’s Tax Conference Priority: Tax-Free Inheritances or Less Harm to Working Families?

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 23:26:57 +0000

Giving the heirs of the nation’s wealthiest estates the largest possible estate tax cut would be a strikingly poor choice. 

Delaying Health Insurance Tax Would Give Windfall to Insurers, Do Little to Reduce Premiums

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 22:49:40 +0000

Health insurers continue to lobby for repealing or suspending the fee on health insurance providers — also known as the health insurance tax, enacted to help pay for health reform — before the end of the year. Policymakers suspended the tax for 2017, but the industry is pushing to suspend it again or repeal it, claiming it would help make coverage more affordable.

Rubio-Lee Child Credit Proposal Should Be in Final Tax Bill

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 16:48:14 +0000

During debate on the Senate tax bill, Senators Marco Rubio and Mike Lee offered an amendment to improve the bill’s Child Tax Credit (CTC) for millions of low-income working families, paid for by cutting the corporate tax rate — currently 35 percent — to 20.9 percent rather than 20 percent.

Taxing College Endowment Income No Way to Pay for Regressive Tax Cuts

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 15:36:19 +0000

The House- and Senate-passed Republican tax bills each impose a 1.4 percent excise tax on the income from endowments of some private colleges and universities. The idea appears to stem from a larger proposal, as explained below, to boost educational opportunities for low- and moderate-income students.

House District Map: Partial SALT Repeal Kills Most Valuable Part of Deduction

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 20:59:24 +0000

The part of the federal income tax deduction for state and local taxes (SALT) that’s most valuable to taxpayers in 77 percent of House districts — not just those with relatively high taxes — is the deduction for state and local income or sales taxes. Yet that’s exactly the part of SALT that both the House- and Senate-passed tax bills would eliminate.

GOP Budgets, Statements Make Plans Clear: Costly Tax Cuts for Wealthy Now, Program Cuts Later

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 16:39:54 +0000

Republican leaders have repeatedly said in recent weeks that after enacting a tax bill, they will turn to budget cuts.

Will House-Senate Conference Tilt Tax Bill Even More Against Working Families?

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 15:44:29 +0000

Low- and moderate-income working families are largely an afterthought in the House- and Senate-passed tax bills, which are heavily tilted to wealthy households and profitable corporations and add significantly to budget deficits. Addressing these fundamental flaws would effectively require the House-Senate conference committee that will iron out differences between the bills to start over and rethink the Republican approach to tax reform to this point.