Penalizing Employers Whose Workers Participate in Economic Security Programs May Have Serious Unintended Consequences
Some states are considering levying penalties on employers whose workers participate in Medicaid, SNAP (food stamps), or other economic security programs. For example, one state lawmaker has proposed that for-profit firms with 300 or more employees pay a fine of 10 percent of the total wages of their non-disabled employees who receive Medicaid, capped at $1,500 per worker.
New Mexico policymakers are strengthening communities and families with their new budget and tax plans. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed tax reforms into law last week that reduce tax breaks for multistate corporations and the wealthiest New Mexicans, boost incomes for 200,000 low-income households, and reduce the state’s overreliance on volatile oil revenues. Policymakers paired the tax package with a budget that, buoyed by a nearly $1 billion revenue surplus, substantial reinvests in children and infrastructure and advances racial, ethnic, and gender equity.
In case the Supreme Court declares the Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional in Texas v. Azar, 18 Senate Republicans are backing “The Protect Act,” which they say would “ensure that Americans with pre-existing conditions will have access to health care that covers their pre-existing conditions.” But the bill, from Senator Thom Tillis, falls far short of its purported goal.
Although the President and Congress have funded modest increases in rental assistance for special populations in recent years — such as vouchers for veterans experiencing homelessness and adults with disabilities — federal funding for rental assistance continues to fall far short of need.
A new bill from Senators Michael Bennet and Tim Kaine would leverage Medicare’s provider network and payment rates to create a lower-cost public health insurance plan (i.e., a “public option”) in the individual and small-group markets, and use the resulting federal savings to expand premium tax credits to help people afford coverage in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces.
This week at CBPP, we focused on policies taking public benefits away for not meeting work requirements, health, federal taxes, state budgets and taxes, the federal budget, and the economy.
As people rush to file their income tax returns by Tax Day (April 15), a few reminders: First, as the Brookings Institution’s Vanessa Williamson explained: “Residents of the United States are unusually likely [compared to other countries] to see chipping in their share as a civic duty, a moral obligation, and a patriotic act.” Second, people need to understand where their tax dollars are going, how the 2017 tax law prioritized the wealthy, and how a new bill better prioritizes working fami
Despite tax law changes and new tax forms — which require intensive new training — volunteers at free tax preparation sites continued helping millions of Americans file their taxes this year.
Some seemingly contradictory information is circulating about how the House Budget Committee (HBC)-approved bill to avert the deep sequestration budget cuts scheduled for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 would affect defense funding. That’s largely because there are different ways to measure the bill’s changes in overall funding for both defense and non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs.
The bill would set new, higher funding caps for 2020 and 2021 for both defense and NDD programs, replacing the caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA) and lowered by sequestration.
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly should veto a bill that would let the state’s Farm Bureau sell unregulated health plans to Kansans. That’s because the plans would likely deny coverage and charge higher premiums to people with pre-existing health conditions, omit essential benefits such as maternity care, and impose annual or lifetime dollar limits on coverage.
The bill would substantially expand the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, improving the economic well-being of 46 million households.
Virginia ended its 2019 legislative session after enacting a new tax law that failed to expand the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for low-wage workers. An EITC expansion would have reduced racial inequities in income since the state’s low-wage workers are disproportionately African American, in part due to historical racism and ongoing job discrimination. At the same time, the new tax law included provisions that disproportionately benefit wealthy white families.
The proposal would improve the economic well-being of 46 million low- and moderate-income households with 114 million people.
Some non-expansion states are considering coupling Medicaid expansion with policies that take coverage away from people not meeting work requirements.
States that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to low-income adults have seen large gains in coverage; improvements in access to care, financial security, and health; reductions in uncompensated care costs; and, in many cases, state budget savings. Now, some states are considering adopting only a “partial” expansion of Medicaid instead of full expansion.
Large numbers of people subject to a work requirement under Arkansas’ Medicaid program don’t know about or understand the requirement and complying with it is “hassle-filled,” says a new paper on work requirements based on behavioral science.
Both the House Budget Committee and the Trump Administration have now proposed a “cap adjustment” to allow added funding for tax enforcement that doesn’t count against annual caps on non-defense appropriations.