The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

In Case You Missed It...

1 hour 23 min ago

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

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Without More Action, Policymakers Will Let Food Hardship Continue

Thu, 09/24/2020 - 2:33pm

The government funding package that Congress expects to pass this week includes important nutrition assistance, but policymakers don’t seem likely to agree in the near term to a comprehensive COVID-19 relief package — even with the latest data again showing that millions of adults (and many of their children) are struggling to get enough to eat, and facing significant housing hardship, which we detail further here.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

New Data: Millions Struggling to Eat and Pay Rent

Wed, 09/23/2020 - 2:25pm

These data underscore the urgent need for federal policymakers to agree on further robust relief measures.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

States Should Tax Wealth to Respond to COVID-19

Wed, 09/23/2020 - 1:50pm

Families’ access to wealth has largely determined how they’re affected by COVID-19, with wealthier and higher-paid families mostly avoiding the worst health and economic effects. This divergence reflects both racial and class inequities. As states face sizeable budget shortfalls due to the pandemic, they should raise taxes on wealthy people to preserve funding for crucial priorities such as education, to fund increased health spending to contain the pandemic, and to boost cash and other assistance to help struggling families make ends meet during the crisis.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Health Care Lifeline: The Affordable Care Act and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Wed, 09/23/2020 - 9:21am

Chairwoman Eshoo, Ranking Member Burgess, and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today. My name is Aviva Aron-Dine. I am the Vice President for Health Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a non-profit, non-partisan policy institute located in Washington. The Center conducts research and analysis on a range of federal and state policy issues affecting low- and moderate-income families.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

In Case You Missed It...

Fri, 09/18/2020 - 3:30pm

This week at CBPP, we focused on food assistance, the new Census data released this week, poverty and inequality, and the economy.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

2019 Income-Rent Gap Underscores Need for Rental Assistance, Census Data Show

Fri, 09/18/2020 - 10:10am

The wide gap between median renter income and median rent extended through 2019, new Census data show, highlighting that the housing affordability crisis existed before COVID-19 and the recession cost many renters their jobs. Policymakers must urgently provide emergency rental assistance to help families struggling to afford housing in the current crisis and take longer-term steps to address the underlying affordability problem that the new data reflect.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Census: Pre-Pandemic Economic Gains Uneven Across States, Races

Fri, 09/18/2020 - 9:16am

The economic gains before COVID-19 sent the economy tumbling were uneven across states as well as racial and ethnic groups, according to American Community Survey (ACS) data that the Census Bureau released yesterday. And the pandemic wiped out much of this progress for millions of families who are having trouble putting food on the table, finding work, and paying the rent or mortgage.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

SNAP Benefit Boost Would Get Needed Food Aid to the Poorest Participants, Who Have Been Left Out

Wed, 09/16/2020 - 2:07pm

A top priority for lawmakers this month should be raising SNAP (food stamp) benefits as a way of mitigating hardship and injecting fast, high “bang-for-the-buck” stimulus into the economy.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Uninsured Rate Rose Again in 2019, Further Eroding Earlier Progress

Tue, 09/15/2020 - 4:38pm

The number and share of Americans without health insurance coverage rose for the third consecutive year in 2019, according to data released today from the American Community Survey (ACS).

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Uninsured Rate Rose in 2019; Income and Poverty Data Overtaken by Pandemic Recession

Tue, 09/15/2020 - 3:38pm

Income rose and poverty declined in 2019, but the number of Americans without health insurance increased for the third consecutive year despite a growing economy.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Congressional Inaction Exacerbates Hardship

Mon, 09/14/2020 - 12:12pm

Extending P-EBT in combination with other measures to provide additional food assistance, increase income, and stabilize housing would provide ongoing, needed relief.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

30 Days Left to Help Eligible People Claim Stimulus Payments

Mon, 09/14/2020 - 9:32am

Five million Americans who were hit hardest by the current health and economic crisis risk missing out on $6 billion in CARES Act stimulus payments if they don’t file the required online form before October 15. We all have a vital role to play in helping them access their $1,200 payments, which are crucial for them to meet their basic needs during the recession.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

In Case You Missed It...

Fri, 09/11/2020 - 3:29pm

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

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Previewing Next Week’s Census Bureau Data on Poverty, Income, and Health Insurance

Fri, 09/11/2020 - 3:04pm

Next Tuesday’s release of Census Bureau data on health insurance, poverty, and income for 2019 will provide a record of conditions in the United States before the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting recession hit. Needless to say, those data will bear little resemblance to conditions today.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Food Need Very High Compared to Pre-Pandemic Levels, Making Relief Imperative

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 4:09pm

With millions of Americans still not getting enough to eat during the COVID-19 crisis and recession, Congress’ return gives lawmakers the opportunity to boost SNAP (food stamps) and other nutrition benefits to help Americans put food on the table and help the economy recover.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Needed: Federal Aid to Reverse Deep Public-Sector Job Cuts, Including in Education

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 9:00am

The harsh recession and deep state budget crisis triggered by COVID-19 are causing sizable public-sector job losses, especially in K-12 and higher education, the latest jobs data show. More large, flexible federal fiscal aid — which stalled in Congress even as the crisis intensified — is needed to reverse as many of these losses as possible and prevent new ones.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

States Expect More Damaging Cuts Without More Federal Aid

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 11:49am

State policymakers will soon begin addressing shortfalls that have already arisen in their current budgets even as they prepare next year’s budgets, and many states are bracing to make deeper, more damaging cuts than they’ve already imposed if they don’t receive additional federal fiscal aid.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

More Economic Relief Needed, Despite Rising Debt

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 8:59am

Rising federal debt should not deter policymakers from enacting additional relief measures to alleviate widespread hardship and keep the economic recovery from losing steam.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Medicaid Enrollment Continues to Rise

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 8:46am

Medicaid enrollment rose 8.4 percent from February to July as millions of Americans lost their jobs or experienced sharp income losses due to the COVID-19 recession. That’s in the 30 states for which we have data, which if we extrapolate nationwide would mean about 6 million more people enrolled in Medicaid — and likely more, given continued increases in August in states with available data.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty


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