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In Case You Missed It…

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 21:28:45 +0000

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

ACA Repeal’s Tax Cut to the Very Top Colliding with “Mnuchin Test”

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 20:37:41 +0000

Republican plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which will deliver billions in tax cuts to the nation’s highest-income households, won’t meet the test outlined by President-elect Trump’s Treasury nominee, Steven Mnuchin — that we won’t see an “absolute tax cut for the upper class.”

Commentary: This MLK Day, Let’s Build on What Works

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 18:28:23 +0000

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose life we celebrate next week, was a champion not only of civil rights but also of full participation in the economy for everyone.  He envisioned an America where both our economic and justice systems worked for all people — and offered routes to prosperity for those whose families’ way forward the nation had long barred.

Although we’ve made significant strides, King’s goals have not yet been achieved.Although we’ve made significant strides, King’s goals have not yet been achieved.

ACA Repeal Would Undermine State Innovations Like Hennepin Health

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 17:50:07 +0000

Eliminating the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid expansion — or imposing even bigger Medicaid cuts by converting the program to a block grant or per capita cap, as leading Republicans favor — would jeopardize state innovations that are pioneering new ways to deliver care and improve beneficiaries’ health.

Alexander’s ACA Replacement Plan Leaves Key Questions Unanswered

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 17:39:21 +0000

Senator Lamar Alexander, Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions Committee, said this week what more congressional Republicans are starting to acknowledge: policymakers shouldn’t repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without first enacting “concrete, practical reforms” to replace it. But his plan lacks critical details needed to compare it to the ACA in coverage, affordability, and the adequacy of coverage it would provide.

ACA Repeal Would Deliver Billions in Tax Cuts to the Top

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 21:16:41 +0000

Republicans’ planned bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is expected to be similar to the repeal bill that President Obama vetoed in January 2016, would give an immediate windfall tax cut totaling billions to the highest-income Americans by eliminating two Medicare taxes — the additional Hospital Insurance tax and the Medicare tax on unearned income — that both fall only on high-income filers, as we explain in two new papers.

ACA Repeal Means Tax Cuts for Drug Companies and Health Insurers

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 19:38:09 +0000

Republican plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are expected to repeal taxes on drug companies, health insurers, and medical device manufacturers — even as they would eliminate tax credits that about 7 million families use to help pay for health coverage and leave tens of millions of people newly uninsured.  Cutting the ACA-related taxes that these companies pay would reduce revenues by $180 billion over 2016 to 2025, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate of the repeal bill vetoed by President Obama in January 2016.

Federal Employment at Record Lows as a Share of Employment, Population−Yet Trump May Freeze Hiring

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 19:06:24 +0000

The share of the nation’s workers that the federal government employed in 2016 equaled its lowest level ever recorded.

CBPP's State Policy Fellowship: A First-Person Account

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 18:50:42 +0000

Tazra Mitchell is a Policy Analyst with the Center’s Family Income Support team. Before joining CBPP, she worked in Raleigh at the North Carolina Budget & Tax Center as a part of the Center’s State Policy Fellowship — a program designed to expand the diversity of voices that speak with authority in state policy debates across the country.

Here, we talk with Tazra about her experience as a Fellow.

Ahead of Tonight’s Ryan Town Hall, Our “Better Way” Roundup

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 18:30:34 +0000

With CNN hosting a town hall tonight at which House Speaker Paul Ryan will discuss the House Republican “Better Way” agenda released last year, here are the reports and posts we’ve issued on those proposals.

Affordable Care Act Signups Continue Rising

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 21:45:59 +0000

More than 11.5 million people have already signed up for health plans in the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) marketplaces during this year’s open enrollment period, which ends January 31, the Department of Health and Human Services reports. As of December 24, signups outpaced last year by about 286,000.

ACA Repeal Would Lavish Medicare Tax Cuts on 400 Highest-Income Households

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 18:06:28 +0000

Each household would get an average tax cut of about $7 million a year.

Don’t Legislate in the Dark; Do a Real Budget

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 19:24:32 +0000

Congressional Republicans’ expected vote this week to approve a budget resolution — the first step in their plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — fails the test of sensible policymaking: having the key information available before voting. With this budget resolution, Republicans haven’t provided any details on the ACA replacement that they promise to enact, nor have they begun to show how this major policy change fits with their other tax and spending plans that could ultimately involve trillions of dollars.

Policy Brief: How States Use Funds Under the TANF Block Grant

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 16:08:04 +0000

States spend only half of their combined federal and state dollars under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) on the core welfare reform areas of basic assistance for families with children, child care for low-income families, and work-related activities or supports. 

Health Coverage Gains for Small-Business Workers at Risk

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 18:25:02 +0000

Millions of people who work for small businesses have gained coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a benefit of health reform that hasn’t received much attention but is under threat as congressional Republicans move to repeal the law.

New Jersey’s Inequality Problem

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 17:47:20 +0000

Former New Jersey treasury officials recently took issue with my report on state tax policies and income inequality, which found New Jersey among the states with the greatest inequality. They suggested that New Jersey’s tax policy isn’t to blame for the state’s income concentration at the top, and that its inequality is on par with other states’.

In Case You Missed It…

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 21:58:54 +0000

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

Eliminating Two ACA Medicare Taxes Means Very Large Tax Cuts for High Earners and the Wealthy

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 21:05:03 +0000

High-income taxpayers would no longer face Medicare taxes on all their income — unlike low- and moderate-income earners — and the disparity between the top tax rates on income from earnings and income from wealth would widen further.

Modernizing and Streamlining WIC Eligibility Determination and Enrollment Processes

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 18:54:53 +0000

Health Care Providers Face Big Financial Hit From ACA Repeal

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 18:43:07 +0000

Hospitals, doctors, and other health care providers would lose nearly $1.7 trillion in revenue between 2019 and 2028 if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, and the demand for uncompensated care for the roughly 30 million newly uninsured would rise by nearly $1.1 trillion, a new Urban Institute report with state-by-state data finds.

SNAP Rolls Fell by 9 Percent Since 2012 Due to Economic Recovery and Time Limit

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 17:27:46 +0000

The number of people participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps, the nation’s most important anti-hunger program) has dropped by more than 4 million people, or 9 percent, since peaking in December 2012, our new paper explains.

How States Use Funds Under the TANF Block Grant

Thu, 05 Jan 2017 18:44:01 +0000

States spend only half of their combined federal and state dollars under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families on core welfare reform areas.

New RSC Health Plan Would Do Little to Help Millions Losing Coverage

Wed, 04 Jan 2017 21:53:46 +0000

The Republican Study Committee (RSC) health plan issued today would undo the nation’s historic progress in expanding health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by entirely repealing the ACA and leaving many millions of Americans who’d lose their health coverage uninsured.

Repealing Medicaid Expansion Would Take Health Coverage from Millions, Strain State Budgets

Wed, 04 Jan 2017 14:33:07 +0000

Repealing the Medicaid expansion under health reform, as congressional Republicans plan to do in the coming weeks, would cause millions of low-income Americans who have newly gained coverage to become uninsured — including many who are now receiving treatment for critical health conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and drug addiction. And the billions in lost federal dollars would strain state budgets, cause rural hospitals to close, and drive up the amount of uncompensated care doctors and hospitals provide.

Defunding Planned Parenthood Would Leave Thousands of Women Without Care

Tue, 03 Jan 2017 17:29:27 +0000

Republicans will likely bar states from providing Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood when they vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) early this year, if they use the reconciliation bill President Obama vetoed in 2016 as a guide. That would cause thousands of low-income women to lose access to care and raise state and federal Medicaid costs related to unplanned pregnancies.

Greenstein: “America’s concern for the poor is about to be tested”

Tue, 03 Jan 2017 16:29:58 +0000

With the 115th Congress convening today, CBPP President Robert Greenstein’s Washington Post op-ed explains that GOP leaders will likely pursue radical changes in core safety net programs this year and shrink other important programs for low- and moderate-income people.

In Case You Missed It...

Thu, 22 Dec 2016 20:33:46 +0000

This week at CBPP, we focused on health care, Social Security, poverty and inequality, and housing.

Repealing ACA Would More Than Double Children’s Uninsured Rate

Thu, 22 Dec 2016 20:13:01 +0000

Repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would undo the historic recent gains in children’s health coverage, a new Urban Institute report finds. Some 4.4 million children would lose coverage by 2019 and the children’s uninsured rate, which has fallen from 7 percent to 4.1 percent under the ACA, would jump to 9.6 percent. And these numbers could grow much higher under other possible changes in federal and state policies.

Repealing Health Reform’s Medicaid Expansion Would Cause Millions to Lose Coverage, Harm State Budgets

Thu, 22 Dec 2016 17:33:00 +0000

Congressional Republicans indicate they will repeal key sections of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) early next year, including its Medicaid expansion.  Repealing the Medicaid expansion would eliminate health coverage for up to, and quite possibly more than, 11 million low-income Americans in the 31 states (plus the District of Columbia) that have taken up this option.  It would also cut off the possibility of gaining coverage for the 4 million uninsured people in the remaining 19 states who would become Medicaid-eligible if their state expanded.  W

Facts Don’t Fit Ryan’s “Death Spiral” Claims

Wed, 21 Dec 2016 18:24:32 +0000

House Speaker Paul Ryan is justifying congressional Republicans’ plan to repeal much of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by falsely claiming that the ACA has caused a "death spiral" in the individual insurance market.

GOP Repeal Plan Shortchanges Funds to Replace ACA, Threatens Medicaid and Medicare

Tue, 20 Dec 2016 19:33:32 +0000

Congressional Republicans’ planned approach to repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) wouldn’t leave enough funding for a replacement that provides at least comparable coverage to a similar number of people, our new paper explains.

ACA Repeal Would Leave Inadequate Resources for Replacement and Put Medicaid and Medicare at Risk

Tue, 20 Dec 2016 15:21:28 +0000

The approach that congressional Republicans are planning to use when repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would leave inadequate resources for funding a replacement that provides at least comparable coverage to a similar number of people.  Eliminating the ACA’s major coverage expansions — as under the repeal bill that Congress passed and President Obama vetoed a year ago, which GOP leaders say is the model for the repeal bill they will move in early 2017 — would produce roughly $1 trillion in net savings over the next decade.  But rather than devoting all those savings to ensuring that m

Obama’s, and the Safety Net’s, Anti-Poverty Achievement

Mon, 19 Dec 2016 20:45:02 +0000

With President Obama leaving office, it’s worth recalling, with updated data, one of his notable achievements:  the 2009 Recovery Act, which helped prevent a historic rise in poverty despite the worst recession since the 1930s.

Interactive: Learn How Health Reform Repeal Would Undo Coverage Gains

Mon, 19 Dec 2016 20:21:08 +0000

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) led to impressive coverage gains, which the law’s repeal would quickly begin to undo. Our new interactive slider shows how much progress the states have made in covering their uninsured residents, and how much would be lost if the ACA’s coverage expansions are eliminated.

Policymakers Should Reject Chairman Johnson’s Deep Cuts to Social Security

Mon, 19 Dec 2016 18:37:14 +0000

House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson has introduced a bill that he claims would “save” Social Security — but its savings would come entirely from cutting vital benefits.

“Universal Access”: Signs that a GOP Health Plan Will Leave Millions Uninsured

Fri, 16 Dec 2016 21:54:52 +0000

House Republicans are reportedly lowering the bar on their promise to craft a health reform replacement plan after they repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) early next year.  Rather than aim for universal coverage — ­insuring as many people as possible — and committing to provide coverage for those left uninsured by ACA repeal, House Republicans appear to be downgrading their goal to “universal access.”

In Case You Missed It . . .

Fri, 16 Dec 2016 20:51:35 +0000

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

Historic Coverage Gains Under the Affordable Care Act

Fri, 16 Dec 2016 17:39:49 +0000

Even as Republican congressional leaders plan to repeal much of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), our new paper shows that all groups in the nation have made historic gains in health coverage since the ACA’s major coverage expansions took effect in 2014.  Here are the main takeaways: 

Even With Cures Act, Medicaid Remains Vital for Behavioral Health

Fri, 16 Dec 2016 14:32:17 +0000

The 21st Century Cures Act, a bipartisan measure that President Obama signed this week, provides small grants to reduce incarceration for people with mental illness and $1 billion to address the opioid crisis.  Nevertheless, Medicaid remains the major funding source for states to treat mental illness and substance use disorders, and plans by the incoming Republican majority to cut Medicaid funding by both repealing Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and restructuring the program would jeopardize access to substance abuse and mental health treatment.

Millionaires the Big Winners From Repealing the Affordable Care Act, New Data Show

Thu, 15 Dec 2016 20:03:56 +0000

Republican plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act would provide large, lopsided tax cuts to households with annual incomes over $1 million.

A State-by-State Look at Income Inequality

Thu, 15 Dec 2016 19:31:34 +0000

Our state-by-state fact sheets that accompany our report on income inequality show that the concentration of incomes among the wealthiest residents is striking in every state.  And that doesn’t even take capital gains income — which is heavily concentrated among the richest households — into account.

Republicans Can’t Repeal Health Reform and Keep Current Pre-Existing Condition Protections

Thu, 15 Dec 2016 19:22:16 +0000

Congressional Republican leaders who plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as early as next month also say they want to ensure that people with pre-existing health conditions can continue to get health coverage.  But it’s hard to see how that’s possible.  

Affordable Care Act Has Produced Historic Gains in Health Coverage

Thu, 15 Dec 2016 16:49:31 +0000

The uninsured rate fell from 13.3 percent to 9.1 percent between 2013 and 2015, while the number of uninsured fell from 41.8 million to 29.0 million.

Income Inequality in the States: A Snapshot

Thu, 15 Dec 2016 16:25:50 +0000

Click on a state to view its fact sheet.

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How State Tax Policies Can Stop Increasing Inequality and Start Reducing It

Thu, 15 Dec 2016 13:46:43 +0000

Over the last three and one-half decades, income gains in the American economy have accrued largely to the richest households, while many middle- and lower-income Americans haven’t shared in the nation’s growing prosperity.

Now’s the Time to Enroll in Marketplace Health Plans

Wed, 14 Dec 2016 16:24:29 +0000

People who want to sign up for health plans in the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual marketplaces must do so by December 15 for their coverage to start on January 1. The open enrollment period — when people can newly enroll in a plan or change plans — runs until January 31, but coverage for people signing up after December 15 won’t start until February or March.  This is also the time for people with coverage in 2016 to evaluate how plans have changed and whether the marketplace offers a better plan for them.

SNAP Reports Present Misleading Findings on Impact of Three-Month Time Limit

Wed, 14 Dec 2016 16:11:16 +0000

Two reports this year, citing data from Kansas and Maine, have touted the alleged success of reimposing a three-month time limit on SNAP participation for childless adults.[1] The reports assert that, as a result of the SNAP time limit, work rates and wages have increased dramatically and the individuals subject to the time limit are better off. The reports, however, misrepresent or omit data and, as a result, make claims about the impact of the time limit on work and earnings that the facts do not support.

Price’s Budget Process Changes Would Harm Key Programs, Favor Tax Breaks

Tue, 13 Dec 2016 21:13:15 +0000

Two key themes stand out: the harsh treatment of social and other programs versus the lenient treatment of tax breaks, and the risks posed by Chairman Price’s proposed entitlement cap to the economy and people in need.

State-by-State Look: Estate Tax Repeal Benefits Only Wealthiest Few

Mon, 12 Dec 2016 22:28:13 +0000

“The odds are good,” Senate Finance Committee member John Thune noted recently, “that we can repeal the estate tax” in the coming tax reform debate. He suggested “consensus support” for his 2015 proposal, to which House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady introduced an identical bill in the House.

Bernstein: Why Not Cutting Taxes Makes Sense

Mon, 12 Dec 2016 18:43:07 +0000

A recent Washington Post op-ed by CBPP Senior Fellow Jared Bernstein — “Hey, here’s a crazy idea: Let’s not cut taxes!” — lists several reasons why we should slow the large tax-cut train that President-elect Trump may attempt to roll through Congress.  Here’s the first one: