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Study Shows Money Matters for K-12 Education

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 16:07:32 +0000

Better funding for schools leads to better long-term outcomes for students, a careful study concludes.  That’s a timely and important message.  As our new report shows, public investment in K-12 schools — crucial for communities to thrive and the economy to offer broad opportunity — has fallen dramatically in a number of states over the last decade. 

Webinar: How Supportive Housing Can Meet Health Care Goals

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 18:53:15 +0000

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State K-12 Funding Still Lagging in Many States

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 18:01:06 +0000

At least 23 states will provide less “general” or “formula” funding — the main form of state support for elementary and secondary schools — in the current school year (2017) than when the Great Recession took hold in 2008, our newly updated survey of state budget documents finds.

EITC, CTC Together Lifted 9.8 Million out of Poverty in 2015

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 17:56:09 +0000

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) together lifted 9.8 million Americans out of poverty last year and made 22.0 million others less poor, CBPP analysis of new Census data shows.  The data allow us to measure of the impact of the entire credits — including both the refundable and non-refundable pieces of the CTC, in addition to the EITC.

After Nearly a Decade, School Investments Still Way Down in Some States

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 17:35:48 +0000

Public investment in K-12 schools — crucial for communities to thrive and the U.S. economy to offer broad opportunity — has declined dramatically in a number of states over the last decade.

Revenue Options Would Help Close Social Security Shortfall

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 15:31:14 +0000

Speaking at a Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget event yesterday on public attitudes toward fixing Social Security, I discussed a new Voice of the People survey showing that strong majorities of both parties favor addressing the program’s long-term shortfall mostly by raising revenues.

SNAP Spending Continued to Fall in 2016

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 20:01:22 +0000

SNAP spending fell for the third straight year in fiscal year 2016, new Treasury Department data show.  This shows that SNAP (formerly food stamps) is working as designed: it expanded during the recession and its aftermath to meet increased need, and has fallen as the economy has improved.  

Medicaid Works: Medicaid Is an Essential Partner for Supportive Housing

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 14:12:03 +0000

This is the next in our “Medicaid Works” blog series, which aims to inform the debate over Medicaid’s future by providing the latest facts and figures on this essential and popular part of the nation’s health care system.

Medicaid Spending and Enrollment Growth Expected to Slow Next Year

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 18:58:55 +0000

Medicaid enrollment and spending growth is expected to slow again in state fiscal year 2017 as the initial effects of health reform’s Medicaid expansion taper off, the new Kaiser Family Foundation annual survey of state Medicaid directors finds.  While expansion states expect to spend slightly more of their own money on Medicaid next year due to the expansion, states knew that would be the case before they adopted the expansion.  Moreover, as

In Case You Missed It…

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 19:08:56 +0000

This week at CBPP, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, health care, state budgets and taxes, poverty and inequality, and the economy.

Enrollees Aren’t Abusing Marketplace Grace Period

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 17:31:53 +0000

Despite claims by insurers and critics, people who receive subsidies to help pay for coverage in health insurance marketplaces aren’t abusing their three-month grace period for paying overdue premiums, as I explain in a new paper

Those who receive such subsidies have three months to pay overdue premiums before insurers can end their coverage.  That helps keep enrollees who miss a payment from quickly losing their insurance.

Marketplace Grace Periods Working as Intended

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 19:57:38 +0000

People who receive subsidies to help pay for coverage in health insurance marketplaces have a three-month window, called a grace period, to pay overdue premiums before insurers can terminate their coverage.  Without this opportunity to catch up on their share of the premiums, enrollees who miss a payment would quickly become uninsured — and barred from reenrolling in private coverage until the next open enrollment period or until they have a life event that qualifies them for a “special enrollment period.”

Marketplace Participants Won’t Be Unknowingly Enrolled with New Insurers

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 18:24:38 +0000

Recent news reports have raised concerns that the federal government will enroll some people who get their health insurance coverage through the federal marketplace with insurers they haven’t chosen.  That’s not so.  In the 38 states covered by the federal marketplace whose insurers won’t offer coverage in 2017, people will be matched

New Jersey Takes Wrong Road to Invest in Infrastructure

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 17:58:01 +0000

A New Jersey measure to raise gas tax revenue for transportation projects while cutting other taxes would “worsen the state’s existing budget challenges” by leaving less money for other state needs, Moody’s credit rating agency warned this week.  While now is an especially good time for states to invest in infrastructure assets that are key to long-term e

Clinton Child Tax Credit Proposal Would Help 14 Million Families, Raise 1.5 Million People out of Poverty

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 20:17:54 +0000

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s proposed expansion of the Child Tax Credit would benefit roughly 14.2 million working families, we estimate based on Census data.

Revised Trump Tax Plan Heavily Tilted Toward Wealthiest, Tax Policy Center Analysis Shows

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 17:50:47 +0000

Low- and middle-income people are likely net losers if the tax cut is offset by budget cuts.

Roundup: House GOP Leaders’ Poverty and Health Proposals

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 17:16:58 +0000

Our recent report explains that the House GOP’s budget plan proposed in March and its “Better Way” tax reform package released in June would give millionaires $2.6 trillion in tax cuts, while cutting programs for low- and moderate-income people by $3.7 trillion.  Below are our other analyses and blog posts on the House GOP leaders’ poverty and health care proposals. 

In Case You Missed It...

Fri, 07 Oct 2016 20:38:32 +0000

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

SNAP Helps Kids Over the Long Term, Too

Fri, 07 Oct 2016 20:15:59 +0000

Our series this week on SNAP and children has shown that SNAP (formerly food stamps) helps a diverse group of low-income children, lifts millions of them out of poverty, and enables millions of families to afford adequate food for their kids.  Toda

SNAP Keeps Food on the Table for Low-Income Kids

Thu, 06 Oct 2016 20:50:56 +0000

Some 13 million children lived in families that had trouble putting enough food on the table to feed everyone at some time during 2015.  That’s a grave concern, though one that SNAP (formerly food stamps) is addressing, as we describe in our new paper.

Medicaid Works: Flexible Coverage Supports State Health Innovation

Thu, 06 Oct 2016 18:27:55 +0000

Since health reform’s major coverage expansions took effect in 2014, Medicaid has helped reduce the number of uninsured from 45 million to 29 million.

SNAP Lifts Millions of Kids out of Poverty

Wed, 05 Oct 2016 18:26:30 +0000

SNAP (formerly food stamps) not only helps a wide-ranging group of children, as my colleague Dottie Rosenbaum has described, it lifts millions of them out of poverty, protecting them from the long-term effects of growing up poor.

Maine Voters Can Boost Education, Tax Fairness at Same Time

Wed, 05 Oct 2016 16:27:24 +0000

Maine’s voters will consider a ballot measure in November to roll back the state’s recent tax cuts for the wealthy and use the revenue to invest in their future by improving the state’s schools.  That’s a very good idea.

2.5 Million People Could Save by Buying Marketplace Health Coverage

Wed, 05 Oct 2016 14:50:27 +0000

About 2.5 million people who aren’t buying health coverage on health reform’s insurance marketplaces could get help paying for their coverage if they did so, according to new research from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) — including 313,000 people in California, 252,000 in Texas, and over 100,000 each in Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

Oregon Medicaid Proposal Builds on State’s Success

Wed, 05 Oct 2016 14:39:34 +0000

Through a proposed federal waiver, Oregon is proposing innovative ways to deliver health care to low-income residents through Medicaid.  If the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approves it, Oregon’s waiver will further improve the state’s successful Medicaid delivery system by making it easier for people with mental health conditions or substance use disorders, and those experiencing homelessness, to get needed health care and other ser

SNAP Helps Diverse Group of Low-Income Children

Tue, 04 Oct 2016 17:36:51 +0000

I explained yesterday that SNAP (formerly food stamps) will help about 20 million children each month this year.  Today, let’s take a closer look at who they are.

Among those children are kids of all ages, with a wide variety of races and ethnicities.  They live in all types of communities, in many different types of families, as we describe in our new paper.  

SNAP’s Importance to Millions of Families with Children

Mon, 03 Oct 2016 17:59:16 +0000

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will help about 20 million children each month this year.  SNAP’s support is critical for America’s low-income children: no other nutrition or income support program reaches as many at-risk children or contributes as much to the overall resources of very low-income households with children, as we explain in our new paper.

Medicaid Works: Expansion Improving Access to Care and Financial Well-Being

Mon, 03 Oct 2016 16:04:13 +0000

This is the next in our “Medicaid Works” blog series, which aims to inform the debate over Medicaid’s future by providing the latest facts and figures on this essential and popular part of the nation’s health care system.

In Case You Missed It…

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 19:01:09 +0000

This week at CBPP, we focused on food assistance, the federal budget and taxes, Social Security, health care, poverty and inequality, and the economy.

SNAP Supports Kids’ Well-Being

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 19:47:26 +0000

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) delivers more nutrition assistance to low-income children than any other federal program.  While SNAP provides only a modest benefit of $1.35 per person per meal for families with children, it forms a critical foundation for children’s health and well-being, as our major new report explains.

Latinos’ Uninsured Rate Down by One-Third

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 16:30:29 +0000

As events and educational activities mark this year’s Hispanic Heritage month, we are marking recent progress in expanding health coverage among Latinos and seeking further progress.

SNAP Works for America’s Children

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 21:26:55 +0000

While SNAP provides only a modest benefit — just $1.35 on average per person per meal for households with children — it forms a critical foundation for the health and well-being of America’s children, lifting millions of families and their children out of poverty and improving food security.  

Helping Puerto Rico

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:57:17 +0000

Two recent CBPP papers discuss ways that federal policymakers can promote economic growth in Puerto Rico and help the island address its budget problems.  Here’s the introduction for each one:

Three Revenue Options to Shore Up Social Security

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 17:54:29 +0000

Social Security faces a significant — though manageable — long-term funding shortfall.  If policymakers address it by reducing benefits, those cuts must be limited and carefully targeted to avoid causing significant hardship.  And they’d almost certainly be phased in slowly, which means they could not produce significant

IRS Doing Its Job to Inform Public About Insurance Options

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 17:24:26 +0000

The IRS is launching a new initiative to inform millions of people who didn’t have health insurance in 2015 about the affordable coverage options they may have for 2017.  While the IRS’s efforts have come under fire from some in Congress, federal law clearly requires it to share this information.

Increasing Payroll Taxes Would Strengthen Social Security

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 16:28:09 +0000

Social Security faces a significant — though manageable — long-term funding shortfall, which policymakers should address primarily by increasing Social Security’s tax revenues. 

Puerto Rico Economic Growth Package Should Include Work-Promoting Earned Income Tax Credit

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 18:51:48 +0000

As a congressional task force studies proposals to boost economic growth in Puerto Rico, tax relief for low-income working families — delivered through an Earned Income Tax Credit — should be a key component of such a package.

Young People with Disabilities Vulnerable to Food Insecurity

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 16:57:30 +0000

Young people with disabilities are likelier to be “food insecure,” or have trouble affording adequate food, than other young people, two recent studies show.  These studies echo earlier findings that working-age adults with disabilities also are likelier to be food insecure.  Having a family member with a disability can both raise costs and lower earnings, making it harder to meet basic needs such as food.

In Case You Missed It…

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 19:48:26 +0000

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

Pediatricians: Safety Net Key to Children’s Health and Development

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 19:21:57 +0000

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) called on policymakers this week to do more for children’s health and development — and some of its strongest words concerned not health care but families’ economic security and opportunity.

Sweeping Deregulation of Small Housing Agencies Won’t Improve Rental Assistance

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 20:57:58 +0000

A House hearing examined options yesterday to strengthen Housing Choice Vouchers, which are highly effective at reducing homelessness and housing instability but could be

How Housing Vouchers Can Better Promote Economic Mobility

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 19:47:33 +0000

In House testimony today, CBPP’s Barbara Sard outlined the benefits of helping low-income families use housing vouchers to move to neighborhoods with less poverty and more opportunity and discussed reforms to advance that goal.  Here’s an excerpt from the introduction:

The Future of Housing in America: A Better Way to Increase Efficiencies for Housing Vouchers and Create Upward Economic Mobility

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 21:15:53 +0000

Thank you for the opportunity to testify.  I am Barbara Sard, Vice President for Housing Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.  The Center is an independent, nonprofit policy institute that conducts research and analysis on a range of federal and state policy issues affecting low- and moderate-income families. The Center’s housing work focuses on improving the effectiveness of federal low-income housing programs, particularly the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. 

The Need for Productivity-Enhancing Public Investments

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 18:51:06 +0000

I thank the committee for the invitation to speak to you today. The purpose of my testimony is to a) provide you with an assessment of strengths and weaknesses of the current U.S. economy, b) offer thoughts about policies that can boost the strengths and reduce the weak spots, and c) examine near- and longer-term fiscal constraints in this context.

House’s Social Security Administration Cuts Would Hurt Customer Service and Program Integrity

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 18:28:19 +0000

After years of Social Security Administration (SSA) funding cuts, the House Appropriations Committee has proposed yet more damaging cuts to the agency for 2017.  As our report explains, SSA’s core operating budget shrank by 10 percent from 2010 to 2016, after inflation.

Family Planning Funds Should Go to Qualified Providers

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 13:53:48 +0000

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently proposed a rule to keep states from playing politics with federal Title X family planning funds by excluding family planning providers based on irrelevant criteria.  The rule will increase millions of Americans’ access to essential health services, and HHS should quickly finalize and implement it. 

Sweeping Deregulation of Small Public Housing Agencies Would Do More Harm Than Good

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 17:02:07 +0000

The Small Public Housing Agency Opportunity Act (SPHAOA), introduced in similar form by Senators John Tester (D-MT) and Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Representative Steve Palazzo (R-MS),[1] is intended to reduce administrative burdens for small local agencies that operate the public housing and Housing Choice Voucher programs. The bills’ deregulation provisions go so far to sweep aside federal rules and safeguards that they could have unintended and undesirable consequences.

State Spending Caps No Formula for Budget Success

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 14:57:56 +0000

Most states have laws limiting spending growth — or, less often, tax revenue — according to formulas based on factors like growth in personal income, population, or inflation.  But voters and policymakers are coming to recognize the problems with these caps.  Attempts to impose caps have failed in recent years in Florida, Maine, New Hampshire, and Washington, and a legislative commission in Connecticut is exploring changes in that state’s cap.  In testimony for that commission, I explain