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Recovery Package Can Make Critical Improvements to Help Millions Buy Health Insurance

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Thu, 04/08/2021 - 9:30am
To permanently extend coverage to the roughly 30 million people who don’t have it, the President and Congress should use upcoming recovery legislation to make the American Rescue Plan’s premium tax credit boosts permanent, lower cost sharing to reduce out-of-pocket costs, and take other steps to make coverage more accessible and affordable. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded health coverage to more than 24 million people, sharply dropping the uninsured rate for people of all ages, of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, and at all education levels. The recently enacted American Rescue Plan
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Medicaid Expansion Boosts Coverage and Services for People With Disabilities, Despite Critics’ Claims

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Wed, 04/07/2021 - 3:18pm
Policymakers in states that haven’t expanded Medicaid are giving it new consideration, in part because of the American Rescue Plan’s large new financial incentive to do so. Expansion opponents have turned to a familiar, and debunked, talking point in response: that funding expansion harms the “truly needy” by forcing seniors and people with disabilities onto waiting lists for services. The reality is that the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid expansion has significant benefits for states and enrollees. That’s particularly true for people with disabilities: in expansion states they’ve seen
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Reversing Trump Policy, Biden Administration Includes Lowest-Income Households in Emergency SNAP Benefits

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Tue, 04/06/2021 - 9:47am
The Agriculture Department (USDA) has announced a new policy that will provide $1 billion a month in additional SNAP benefits to 25 million of the lowest-income SNAP participants, who have been partly or entirely left out of these emergency benefits over the past year due to a Trump Administration policy. Beginning this month, all SNAP households will receive at least $95 a month in emergency allotments. (It may take a few weeks for states to implement the change.) About 40 percent of the households affected by the change include children, 20 percent have elderly members, and 15 percent
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Biden Administration Should Withdraw All Approvals of Medicaid Work Requirements

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Mon, 04/05/2021 - 10:33am
The Trump Administration approved policies in 13 state demonstration projects (or “waivers”) that take Medicaid coverage away from people who don’t comply with stringent work requirements. Implementation of all these policies is on hold due to litigation and the pandemic. Taking coverage away from enrollees or otherwise conditioning coverage on meeting a work requirement doesn’t further Medicaid’s purposes — which demonstrations must do — and accordingly, the Biden Administration should now withdraw all of the previous approvals. The Biden Administration recently withdrew Arkansas’ and New
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Corporate Rate Increase Would Make Taxes Fairer, Help Fund Equitable Recovery

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Mon, 04/05/2021 - 10:00am
Raising corporate taxes by a modest amount will not undermine the economic recovery and, in fact, using those revenues to finance needed investments will help make the economy stronger.
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

In Case You Missed It...

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Fri, 04/02/2021 - 3:35pm
This week at CBPP, we focused on health, family income support, food assistance, housing, poverty and inequality, and the economy. On health, Tara Straw explained that the American Rescue Plan’s lower premiums and the Biden Administration’s enrollment period extension will boost enrollment in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces. Gideon Lukens detailed how the American Rescue Plan will help millions who still face reduced access to medical care. We released a fact sheet summarizing coverage for COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, and treatment. On family income support, Laura Meyer reported that
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Lower Premiums, More Time to Enroll Will Boost Marketplace Enrollment

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Thu, 04/01/2021 - 10:10am
A new era begins today for people who get their health coverage though the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces and for many others seeking affordable coverage. The American Rescue Plan’s improvements to financial assistance, plus recent Biden Administration actions, will pave the way for expanded enrollment in comprehensive health coverage that’s more affordable for millions of people. New and current enrollees in (the federally run marketplace) can claim the discounted premiums starting April 1. It’s a sharp departure from four years during which the ACA marketplaces and the
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

USDA Ends Trump Administration’s Push to Cut Jobless Off SNAP

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Wed, 03/31/2021 - 2:54pm
A Trump Administration rule that would have cut nearly 700,000 unemployed adults off the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is finally dead, as the Agriculture Department (USDA) recently announced it would withdraw the Trump Administration’s appeal of a federal court decision blocking the rule. That’s great news. Policymakers can take another important step to help unemployed adults by eliminating the underlying SNAP eligibility limit affecting these workers. That underlying limit restricts many non-elderly SNAP participants without kids in their home to three months of benefits
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Solving Urgent Housing Problems Requires Pairing Investments in Housing Stock With Expansion of Housing Vouchers

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Tue, 03/30/2021 - 3:21pm
Affordable housing is a key part of the nation’s economic infrastructure. Expanding its availability is an effective way to reduce poverty and homelessness and to help build a more equitable economy in which all children can reach their full potential, households can make ends meet, workers in low-paid jobs and those who need jobs can get ahead, and seniors and people with disabilities can live with dignity in their chosen communities. With this in mind, policymakers should include substantial affordable housing investments in the economic recovery legislation they will consider later this
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

An Expert’s Take on Using Subsidized Jobs to Meet Health, Employment Goals in Pandemic

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Tue, 03/30/2021 - 2:00pm
Faced with the COVID-19 health and employment crisis in spring 2020, the city of Baltimore launched an innovative subsidized employment project, the Baltimore Health Corps, to connect unemployed residents with critical health care jobs in contact tracing and other health roles. Operated almost entirely virtually, the program now employs nearly 300 residents in community health jobs. Funded both through city and a wide range of private funds, the program is a collaboration between several city departments and local nonprofits. (See our new paper for how federal policymakers can use subsidized
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Subsidized Employment: A Proven Strategy to Aid an Equitable Economic Recovery

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Tue, 03/30/2021 - 8:58am
The current crisis calls for a permanent subsidized employment program that can respond to short-term needs and support workers who are disadvantaged even in good economic times.
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Coverage for COVID-19 Testing, Vaccinations, and Treatment

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Mon, 03/29/2021 - 11:28am
Various laws, regulations, and guidance that federal policymakers put in place since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic expand access to testing, vaccination, and treatment for the virus.
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Rescue Plan Will Help Millions Who Still Face Reduced Access to Medical Care

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Mon, 03/29/2021 - 10:23am
In large measure due to COVID-19, millions of people continue to forgo or delay needed health care. Those affected are disproportionately households with low income and households suffering pandemic-driven job losses, and their reduced care will have negative repercussions for their health and well-being. The American Rescue Plan Act brings much-needed relief by providing income support, investing in mental health, and making health care more affordable. Due to the pandemic, during the last four weeks 27 percent of adults delayed medical care and 20 percent of adults did not get the medical
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

In Case You Missed It...

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Fri, 03/26/2021 - 1:09pm
This week at CBPP, we focused on poverty and inequality, the federal budget, health, state budgets and taxes, and the economy. On poverty and inequality, Sharon Parrott, Chuck Marr, Arloc Sherman, and Judith Solomon released a major report outlining recommendations for an equitable recovery package that invests in children, supports workers, and expands health coverage. Parrott also testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs illustrating how the American Rescue Plan Act will provide needed help to tens of millions of people and reduce hardship. We updated our
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

American Rescue Plan: Shots in Arms and Money in Pockets

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Thu, 03/25/2021 - 10:00pm
As the President and Congress turn to economic recovery legislation this spring and summer, however, they have a historic opportunity to make permanent progress by addressing the underlying weaknesses in our economy and our public policies that made the stopgap measures of the last year so necessary.
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Latest Proposals Show Need for Rescue Plan’s State Tax Cut Restriction

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Thu, 03/25/2021 - 4:10pm
Some state lawmakers have accelerated their push for tax cuts since Congress passed the American Rescue Plan two weeks ago, ironically showing why the new law’s provision that states lose a dollar of the new federal aid for every dollar they spend on new net tax cuts is necessary for a just recovery. The Rescue Plan includes $350 billion in fiscal aid to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, to support much-needed assistance to hard-hit families and communities and offset the pandemic’s impact on government revenues. But some governors and lawmakers are capitalizing on the new
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Boosts in Non-Defense Appropriations Needed Due to Decade of Cuts, Unmet Needs

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Thu, 03/25/2021 - 12:22pm
Congress and the President, no longer bound by multi-year caps on discretionary funding, have the opportunity this year to reset non-defense discretionary funding levels to remedy existing shortfalls.
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Policy Brief: Medicaid Key to Building Comprehensive Substance Use Care System for Low-Income People

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Wed, 03/24/2021 - 1:08pm
Medicaid can cover a rich array of clinical SUD treatment services, recovery supports, and other mental and physical health care.
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Building an Equitable Recovery Requires Investing in Children, Supporting Workers, and Expanding Health Coverage

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Wed, 03/24/2021 - 12:19pm
The recovery legislation that policymakers will consider later this year (which might consist of one or multiple bills) provides a historic opportunity to build toward an equitable recovery where all children can reach their full potential, where workers in low-paid jobs and those with fewer job prospects have the supports to help them meet their needs and get ahead, and where everyone has access to affordable health coverage.
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Unwinding the Medicaid Continuous Coverage Provision: What States Can Do Now to Keep Eligible People Covered

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Tue, 03/23/2021 - 3:10pm
By carefully planning how to resume normal operations at the end of the PHE, states can reduce the risk that eligible people will lose coverage and decrease administrative burdens for state staff and enrollees.
Categories: Benefits, Poverty
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