This week at CBPP, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, health, full employment, state budgets and taxes, housing, and the economy.
Sixty-five years after the landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision that found racial segregation in schools unconstitutional, families and education advocates are still suing to compel states to uphold their education funding obligations. But policymakers could avoid court disputes altogether by ensuring the proper level and distribution of money in their K-12 budgets, as Kansas and New Mexico took steps to do this year.
The Senate still hasn’t approved emergency disaster relief legislation, keeping more than a million Americans who live in Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories without much-needed health and food aid. While negotiations to finalize the Senate’s disaster bill reportedly are making progress, the Senate must act quickly to restore needed food and health assistance to the territories.
The House, which last week voted to block Trump Administration guidance weakening standards for state Affordable Care Act (ACA) waivers, is expected to vote today on a bill reversing the Administration’s expansions of substandard health plans and cuts to outreach and enrollment assistance. Here are our recent pieces on some of the major issues involved.
Expanding Skimpy Short-Term Health Plans
At the core of our argument is the idea that changing inflation dynamics, in tandem with higher wage, income, and wealth inequality, should create an asymmetry in the Fed’s reaction function, as such dynamics elevate the benefits of full employment and diminish the risks of inflationary pressures.
If enacted, these proposals and others in the budget would sharply increase the number of people who lack health coverage, while increasing poverty, widening income and racial disparities, and driving up the number of households that struggle to afford the basics.
Millions of low-paid workers in Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, and New Mexico will soon have higher wages and a better shot at economic success thanks to new state minimum wage increases.
Low- and moderate-income families in Puerto Rico would get a significant income boost from the Working Families Tax Relief Act, which would substantially expand the Child Tax Credit (CTC) in Puerto Rico as well as nationally and also help the Commonwealth expand its own, recently implemented Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
The House will vote this week on a bill curbing so-called “short-term” health plans, which are exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) consumer protections. Some argue that the bill would hurt consumers, citing a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate that it would cause some people to become uninsured. But in reality, CBO’s analysis underscores the dangers of short-term plans.
In an increasing number of states, lobbyists for large multistate corporations have been pushing for the enactment of a new tax break they call “deferred tax relief.” They have primarily been trying to attach this tax break — a new deduction from gross income — to an important loophole-closing measure that often increases corporations’ state income tax payments.
This week at CBPP, we focused on poverty and inequality, housing, health, federal taxes, food assistance, and the economy.
Mother’s Day should remind policymakers to help more mothers afford high-quality child care and stable housing for their families. The President and Congress can do that by overriding the deep funding cuts scheduled for 2020 under the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA) and making sizable new investments in child care and housing — such as by enacting the significant child care boosts in a bill that the House Appropriations Committee recently passed.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Child Nutrition Programs (school, summer, and child care meals) are the only major entitlement programs whose beneficiaries risk two types of failures in the annual appropriations process: a government shutdown, especially at the beginning of the fiscal year, and annual funding that proves inadequate to cover the programs’ needs for the entire fiscal year.
Administration’s Proposed Housing Rule Would Cause Thousands to Lose Their Homes, Most of Them Children
The proposed rule would bar U.S. citizens and eligible immigrants from receiving federal housing assistance if they share a home with an immigrant family member who’s ineligible due to their immigration status.
Conservative critics of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion are noting strong enrollment in Virginia’s Medicaid expansion to revive a debunked claim that the expansion puts state budgets at risk. They claim that Virginia’s enrollment is exceeding expectations and that states expanding Medicaid therefore can’t accurately forecast the effect on their budgets.
Federal rental assistance helps low-income families afford stable housing and prevents homelessness in every state, as our new interactive state fact sheets show. It helps almost 10 million people in over 5 million households keep a roof over their heads, often by helping them afford units in the private market.
The Trump Administration’s proposed rule that would effectively ban drug rebates in Medicare and Medicaid would raise — not reduce — spending on prescription drugs, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says in a new estimate. Drug company profits would grow, and federal spending for Medicare and Medicaid would rise by $177 billion over ten years.
Commentary: House Bill Would Block Trump Administration Rules on Health Waivers That Weaken Pre-Existing Condition Protections
Trump Administration guidance changed how the federal government will evaluate so-called 1332 waiver proposals from states in ways that would weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions and other vulnerable groups. The House is expected to vote today on a bill to roll back the Administration’s changes.
Done well, text messaging can enhance existing forms of communication and improve the delivery of critical safety net programs.
The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow on the “tax gap” —between what taxpayers owe the federal government and what they pay on time. It’s particularly timely given the IRS’ depleted enforcement division and the challenges that the 2017 tax law poses for compliance.