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In Case You Missed It . . .

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 20:49:44 +0000

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




New York Times Shows Expanded EITC Would Replace Pay Workers Have Lost

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 20:11:06 +0000

As the New York Times writes today, President-elect Trump argues that the federal government can raise the wages of low-income workers by cutting taxes for the wealthy and corporations, spending more on infrastructure, and renegotiating trade deals.  “But another, more direct, approach is possible, one aimed at turbocharging the wages of people who have lost out on the economic gains of the last few decades,” the Times’ Neil Irwin explains at




Kansas Offers Cautionary Tale for Federal Tax-Cut Plan

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 17:55:40 +0000

Tax-cut advocate Arthur Laffer tells the Financial Times that tax cuts like President-elect Trump’s plan, which would overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest Americans, would generate economic “nirvana,” with economic benefits that would “trickle down” to ordinary workers.







Repealing Health Reform: the State-by-State Impact

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 17:23:37 +0000

Our new state-by-state fact sheets on the impact of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without replacing it, as Republican congressional leaders plan to do, show that in 2019, in every state tens of thousands of people would lose health insurance coverage — and in seven states (California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, and Texas), more than 1 million people would lose it.




Immediate Harm Even from “Delayed” Health Reform Repeal, Urban Institute Finds

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 20:28:32 +0000

Congressional Republicans claim that, when they repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) early next year, they can avoid hurting consumers by delaying the elimination of its Medicaid expansion and marketplace subsidies for two years or more.  This delay, they say, would ensure that “no one is worse off,” as House Speaker Paul Ryan put it, while Republicans




Republican Health Reform Repeal Plan Would Leave 30 Million More Uninsured

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 20:21:13 +0000

Republican congressional leaders’ plan to repeal most of the Affordable Care Act without replacing it would double the number of uninsured people.




Impact of Affordable Care Act Repeal

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 14:25:45 +0000

Some 29.8 million people would lose health insurance coverage if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, data from the Urban Institute show. These fact sheets provide state-by-state data on the number of people who would lose coverage and the loss of related federal funding.

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Republican “Small Business” Tax Cuts Would Mostly Help Rich Individuals

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 19:27:08 +0000

Asked whether, under a tax reform plan that the incoming Republican majority plans to write, “the rich” will receive “the greatest part of the tax cuts,” House Speaker Paul Ryan suggested that the proposed tax cuts at the top are aimed mostly at small business.  “Most of that income is small business income,” he told CBS’ Scott Pelley in a “60 Minutes” interview.  But that’s wrong in two basic ways.




Explaining the EITC in 74 Seconds

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 17:10:05 +0000

Each year, nearly 30 million working families claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).  Our new video, from CBPP’s Get It Back Campaign, highlights the numerous benefits to claiming the EITC, which helps working families during every stage of life.




To Repeat: Medicare Isn’t Going “Bankrupt”

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 21:07:49 +0000

House Speaker Paul Ryan is repeating a myth that we and others have debunked before:  that Medicare is running out of money.  “Medicare goes bankrupt in about 10 years,” he said on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” adding that “for the X-Generation on down, it won’t be there for us on its current path.”  That’s just not true.




“Better Way” Plan Shows GOP Tax Priorities Emphasize the Wealthy

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 20:25:08 +0000

House Speaker Paul Ryan says he can’t yet provide details on how a Republican tax-cut bill would affect middle-class and wealthy households.  When, in a CBS “60 Minutes” interview last night, Scott Pelley asked about the dollar amount of the middle-class tax cut, Ryan replied:  “When I have a bill, I’ll tell you the number.”




Commentary: GOP’s Health Reform Strategy Amounts to Repeal Without Replacement

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 17:11:44 +0000

Republican congressional leaders plan to move quickly in January to repeal the bulk of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without enacting a replacement plan to prevent the millions of people who have gained coverage through the ACA from becoming uninsured. 




In Case You Missed It . . .

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 21:20:41 +0000

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




Trump Infrastructure Plan: Far Less Than the Claimed $1 Trillion in New Projects

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:00:23 +0000

President-elect Trump’s infrastructure plan, which claims that it would deliver up to $1 trillion in new infrastructure investment, almost surely would deliver far less — and it would not deliver many of the most important needed projects for roads and bridges, public transit, schools and public housing, water facilities, and so on, nor deliver them in the struggling communities in which they’re most needed.Trump's plan would mainly be a tax-cut windfall to private developers to bankroll for-profit projects they likely would have underta




More Than 100,000 Families Could Be Frozen Out of Housing Vouchers for 2017

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 19:51:33 +0000

If policymakers don’t provide a substantial funding boost to renew housing vouchers in 2017, most housing agencies will have to cut the number of low-income households they assist at a time when large and growing numbers are struggling to afford rent, we explain in a new paper.




Substantial Funding Boost Needed to Renew Housing Vouchers in 2017

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 17:03:46 +0000

If policymakers fail to provide a substantial funding boost to renew housing vouchers in 2017, most housing agencies will be forced to cut the number of low-income households they assist at a time when large and growing numbers are struggling to afford rent.  Vouchers for more than 100,000 families would be unfunded, a loss of assistance that would be greater than that caused by the 2013 sequestration cuts.Under the Senate bill, for example, housing vouchers for at least 25,000 low-income households would be left unfunded in 2017, and the







Medicaid Block Grant Would Slash Federal Funding, Shift Costs to States, and Leave Millions More Uninsured

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 21:17:34 +0000

A Medicaid block would institute deep cuts to federal funding for state Medicaid programs and threaten benefits for tens of millions of low-income families, senior citizens, and people with disabilities. 




Treasury Nominee’s Claims at Odds With Trump Tax Plan

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 19:31:05 +0000

Steven Mnuchin, President-elect Trump’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, said today of Trump’s coming tax cut proposal, “Any reductions we have in upper-income taxes will be offset by less deductions so that there will be no absolute tax cut for the upper class.”  But his assertion, on CNBC this morning, is completely at odds with the tax plan that Trump announced during the campaign, which would provide a massive tax cut for upper-income taxpayers.




Block-Granting Medicaid Would Limit State Flexibility to Innovate

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 19:08:20 +0000

While supporters of converting Medicaid to a block grant often tout the greater state flexibility it would provide, states already enjoy expansive flexibility under Medicaid, which they’re using to streamline health care delivery and improve health.




Van de Water: Medicare Reforms Need to Preserve Guaranteed Coverage

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 20:24:13 +0000

Radically restructuring Medicare is “neither necessary nor desirable,” writes CBPP Senior Fellow Paul Van de Water in the New York Times’ Room for Debate.  Here’s the opening: 




In Case You Missed It...

Wed, 23 Nov 2016 15:22:52 +0000

CBPP will take a break over the long Thanksgiving weekend, but we’ll be back on our regular schedule on Monday. 

This week we focused on the safety net. Alicia Mazzara reminded us that millions of Americans lack food and shelter this holiday season, though the numbers would be much higher if not for key safety net programs.




Adequate Food, Shelter Lacking for Millions of Americans

Mon, 21 Nov 2016 18:22:55 +0000

As we think about what we have to be thankful for this holiday season, we should remember that millions of Americans can’t afford two of the most basic necessities:  adequate food and shelter. 




In Case You Missed It…

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 19:47:01 +0000

This week at CBPP, we focused on health care, housing, food assistance, federal budget, and the economy.




Roundup: Trump’s Harmful Proposals for Replacing Health Reform

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 19:06:41 +0000

Three approaches to replacing the ACA - expanding Health Savings Accounts, allowing insurers to offer health coverage across state lines, and expanding high-risk pools - would likely do little or nothing to help the more than 20 million people who’d lose health coverage if the ACA were repealed. 




Trump, House GOP Proposals Allowing Insurers to Sell Across State Lines Would Undermine Insurance Markets

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 21:55:23 +0000

President-elect Trump’s proposals to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) include allowing insurers to offer health plans to people or small businesses in other states, even if the plans don’t comply with the other states’ requirements.  Health plans from House Speaker Paul Ryan and other congressional Republicans include similar proposals.  Selling health insurance “across state lines,” supporters say, would reduce premiums and give




Housing Voucher Reform Will Boost Efficiency and Opportunity

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 21:37:42 +0000

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has expanded a promising policy tying Housing Choice Voucher subsidies to rents in a particular neighborhood, rather than an entire metropolitan area.  The policy, called small-area fair market rents (SAF




Trump, House GOP High-Risk Pool Proposals a Failed Approach

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 21:30:57 +0000

President-elect Trump proposes to rely on high-risk pools to help people with pre-existing conditions and significant medical expenses get health coverage, if Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as they intend.  House Speaker Paul Ryan’s health plan and those of other congressional Republicans also include high-risk pools.  But the history of high-risk pools clearly shows that, far from the “proven approach” that Mr.




Trump, House GOP Health Savings Account Proposals Would Mostly Help Wealthy, Not Uninsured

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 18:47:20 +0000

For his alternative to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which he would repeal, President-elect Trump proposes to rely on Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).  That’s consistent with the health plans of House Speaker Paul Ryan and other congressional Republicans, which would expand HSAs in ways that would mainly benefit high-income taxpayers and likely do little for those losing their health coverage if the ACA were repealed.




Online Applications Guide

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 15:06:30 +0000

The introduction to this guide follows below. For the full report, please see the PDF.




Republican Bill Vetoed in January Would Have Reversed Almost All of Health Reform’s Coverage Gains

Wed, 16 Nov 2016 21:45:00 +0000

With congressional Republicans reportedly considering using budget reconciliation to repeal the Affordable Care Act early next year, it’s worth taking another look at the reconciliation bill they passed — but President Obama vetoed — last January to undo much of the health reform law.   As the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found at the time, that bill would have raised the number of uninsured




Five Key Points About Budget “Reconciliation”

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 21:11:29 +0000

Republican leaders indicate they’ll likely use a special legislative procedure called “reconciliation” to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and probably also to enact tax cuts and perhaps change other spending programs. 




Consumers Should Keep Enrolling in Marketplace Coverage

Mon, 14 Nov 2016 19:20:06 +0000

Donald Trump’s election and incoming House and Senate Republican majorities have millions of people who buy their health insurance on the individual market — as well as many uninsured people poised to buy a plan there — concerned about what may happen to that coverage.  But the marketplace plans and the subsidies to help modest-income people afford them are still available and will likely remain so for some time.




In Case You Missed It . . .

Fri, 11 Nov 2016 21:06:00 +0000

This week at CBPP, we focused on veterans and the safety net, the federal budget and taxes, state budgets and taxes, and the economy.




More States Legalize and Tax Marijuana

Fri, 11 Nov 2016 19:55:38 +0000

The number of states in which marijuana is now legal more than doubled this week as Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, and California approved ballot measures.  As marijuana sales emerge from the shadows, their modest revenues may make it a bit easier for states to fulfill voter expectations for high-quality schools and other public investments.




Missouri Nixes Sales Tax Base Expansion

Thu, 10 Nov 2016 19:33:53 +0000

Missouri voters on Tuesday approved a constitutional amendment to prohibit the state from ever broadening its sales tax base — and that of local governments — beyond what was subject to the tax as of January 2015.  That will lock in the state’s inequitable taxation of goods and services and hamstring its future revenue-raising capacity.




Veterans and the Safety Net

Thu, 10 Nov 2016 18:49:27 +0000

November 11, Veterans’ Day, is an appropriate time to highlight some ways that the safety net helps many low-income veterans and active duty service members make ends meet.  It’s important to note that policymakers’ actions in areas like health coverage and tax credits for working families have a big impact on veterans and their families.




Voters Boost Minimum Wages in Four States

Wed, 09 Nov 2016 21:40:51 +0000

Voters approved minimum wage increases in all four states — Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Washington — with Election Day ballot measures. 

More specifically:




Expanding the EITC Would Benefit Veterans and Service Members in Every State

Wed, 09 Nov 2016 17:41:02 +0000

Congress could strengthen the EITC for more than 600,000 veterans and active duty service members by closing the large gap in the credit for adults not raising children and non-custodial parents. 




Veterans’ Homelessness Cut in Half Since 2010

Tue, 08 Nov 2016 19:54:27 +0000

The number of homeless veterans has dropped by 47 percent since 2010, recent Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) data show.  While several factors contributed to this striking progress, one key one is the tens of thousands of new Housing Choice Vouchers for homeless veterans that policymakers have funded since 2008 through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program.




Health Reform Spurring Big Veterans’ Health Coverage Gains

Mon, 07 Nov 2016 18:05:51 +0000

Veterans are enjoying large gains in health coverage since health reform’s major coverage provisions took effect, as their uninsured rate dropped from 11.9 percent in 2013 to 6.8 percent in 2015, an Urban Institute analysis of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) finds.  The biggest gains have come in states that adopted health reform’s Medicaid expansi




In Case You Missed It…

Fri, 04 Nov 2016 20:11:55 +0000

This week at CBPP, we focused on housing, state budgets and taxes, health care, Social Security, and the economy.




Older Americans Working Longer, Claiming Social Security Later

Fri, 04 Nov 2016 19:14:54 +0000

Older Americans are working longer and claiming their Social Security benefits later, new research from the Social Security Administration shows. 

Social Security recipients can begin to claim retired-worker benefits any time between ages 62 and 70.  The earlier they claim them, the smaller their monthly benefit will be, but whether workers claim benefits early or late, they tend to receive the same total benefits over the course of their retirement.

The SSA study finds that:




Major Study: Housing Vouchers Provide Haven for Homeless Families

Fri, 04 Nov 2016 19:01:46 +0000

Housing vouchers are the most effective tool for families seeking to escape the hardships of homelessness and raise their children in safe, stable homes, a major study from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) finds.  More than 300,000 children in the United States have recently endured the insecurities of homelessness.




Renters’ Tax Credit Would Reduce Housing Cost Burdens

Thu, 03 Nov 2016 17:10:28 +0000

Housing cost burdens for renters have risen to unprecedented levels but “can be efficiently and equitably addressed using the tax code, which has historically provided substantial federal housing subsidies to homeowners, particularly those with high‐incomes and wealth,” a new report finds.  It proposes three options for a tax credit to help renters struggling to make ends meet, an idea that has received growing support from policy experts and others.




State Policy Fellowship Applications Are Open

Wed, 02 Nov 2016 18:46:47 +0000

We’re now accepting applications for the 2017 class of State Policy Fellows.  Since 2010, CBPP and the State Priorities Partnership have placed fellows in leading state-based policy organizations across the country.  The fellowship is designed to:




U.S. Disability Benefits Modest by International Standards

Tue, 01 Nov 2016 19:47:05 +0000

U.S. spending on public disability benefits remains low by international standards, new figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show (see graph).




Fact Sheets: States with Biggest K-12 Funding Cuts

Tue, 01 Nov 2016 18:32:32 +0000

At least 35 states provided less state funding per student in the 2014 school year (the most recent year available) than in the 2008 school year, before the recession took hold. This map shows nine of the ten states with the biggest cuts over that period. (The tenth state, California, is excluded because our analysis of state budget documents indicates that over the full 2008-2017 period, formula funding — the main form of state support for schools — has actually increased.) Click on a state to see its fact sheet.




Gap Between Rents and Renter Incomes Grew in 2015

Tue, 01 Nov 2016 16:54:07 +0000

Rents rose slightly more than the incomes of renter households in 2015, new Census data show, widening the already sizeable gap between incomes and rent and utility costs.