The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

In Case You Missed It...

Fri, 09/20/2019 - 11:57am

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

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Senate Would Shortchange Human Services Programs Despite Room for Increases in Appropriations Deal

Wed, 09/18/2019 - 1:14pm

Relative to 2019 funding as adjusted for inflation, the Senate majority plans to cut funding for the two appropriations bills that cover key public health, education, rental assistance, and other human service programs.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit Would Benefit Millions of Asian Americans

Tue, 09/17/2019 - 3:53pm

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit go to millions of low- and moderate-income working families each year. Studies show that the EITC increases employment, raises incomes, and reduces poverty. Research also links income from these tax credits to a series of gains for children — better infant health, improved school performance, higher college enrollment, and increases in earnings in adulthood. As a result, the tax credits appear to reduce poverty not only in the near term but also in the next generation.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

New Claims by Opponents of Medicaid Expansion Rest on Faulty Analysis

Tue, 09/17/2019 - 2:55pm

Some opponents of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid expansion who seek to dissuade states that haven’t adopted it from doing so are using inaccurate claims and misleading arguments to make their case.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

In Case You Missed It...

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 2:30pm

This week at CBPP, we focused on the new Census data on poverty, incomes, and health coverage; federal taxes; Social Security; housing; and the economy.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

House Bill Targets Homelessness Among Youth Leaving Foster Care

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 2:26pm

Many young people leaving foster care after they reach adulthood become homeless soon after losing the child welfare system’s support and, among those who do, more than half experience multiple episodes of homelessness.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Cutting Social Security to Offset Paid Parental Leave Would Weaken Retirement Security

Wed, 09/11/2019 - 5:25pm

Two recently introduced bills allowing workers to trade part of their future Social Security retirement benefits for parental leave benefits after the birth or adoption of a child would undercut Social Security’s benefits and structure.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Census: Health Coverage Progress Eroded in 2018

Tue, 09/10/2019 - 2:51pm

The share of Americans without health insurance rose from 7.9 percent in 2017 to 8.5 percent in 2018, the Census Bureau’s new Current Population Survey (CPS) data show — the first increase since the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) drove historic coverage gains, particularly after its major coverage expansions took effect in 2014.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Greenstein: More Americans Uninsured, Though Progress on Poverty Continues

Tue, 09/10/2019 - 1:42pm

The official poverty rate fell for the fourth consecutive year in 2018 and median income remained statistically unchanged. But the number and share of Americans without health insurance took a turn for the worse.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Programs Targeted for Cuts Keep Millions From Poverty, New Census Data Show

Tue, 09/10/2019 - 11:30am

Economic hardship would be far more pervasive without key anti-poverty programs, Census data released today show, with programs like SNAP (food stamps), the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the Child Tax Credit, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) keeping millions of people above the poverty line in 2018.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

In Case You Missed It...

Fri, 09/06/2019 - 5:04pm

This week at CBPP, we focused on poverty and inequality, health, federal taxes, Social Security, and the economy.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Women of Color Especially Benefit From Working Family Tax Credits

Fri, 09/06/2019 - 11:57am

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit push back against racial income disparities. They are especially important to women of color, but the tax credits can and should do more to boost these families’ incomes and longer-term prospects.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

A Back-to-School Focus on Helping Kids Thrive

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 2:24pm

The start of a new school year is an appropriate time to highlight important legislation before Congress that would help give all children a chance to reach their potential.

The first few years of life are critical to brain development; growing up in poverty, with its corresponding stress, undermines brain development in young children. But we know that additional income for poor families can mitigate this harm and improve school performance.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Taxing Social Security Benefits Is Sound Policy

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 1:06pm

Social Security beneficiaries with higher incomes pay income tax on part of their benefits. Those with incomes below $25,000 ($32,000 for couples) pay no tax on benefits, while those with the highest incomes pay tax on as much as 85 percent of their benefits. This arrangement is sound for several reasons:

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

What to Look for in Next Week’s Census Figures on Poverty, Income, and Health Insurance

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 4:05pm

On September 10, the Census Bureau will release its official statistics on poverty, income, and health insurance coverage in 2018. Three points are worth noting in advance of the release.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Don’t Forget Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries When Improving Drug Benefits

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 3:48pm

Low-income Medicare beneficiaries deserve special attention as Congress considers legislation to make prescription drugs more affordable. Important steps include eliminating cost-sharing for generic drugs for low-income beneficiaries and increasing participation in the Part D low-income drug subsidy.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Commentary: Surprise Billing Legislation Should Lower Consumer Costs and Federal Costs

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 10:43am

Comprehensive bills before the House and Senate to ban surprise medical bills would protect patients while reducing health care costs and premiums. But if lawmakers give in to health industry pressure to move the bills in the wrong direction, the resulting legislation could instead raise costs and premiums, by further inflating payments for specialists who already command the highest rates.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Frequently Asked Questions About ACA Section 1332 Waivers and Medicaid

Tue, 09/03/2019 - 9:41am

This primer provides background on 1332 waivers, explains why they can’t be used to change Medicaid, and discusses alternative ways states can achieve some (though not all) of the goals they’ve identified for 1332 waivers

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Case Studies: State and Local WIC Agencies

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 3:03pm

These case studies describe certification streamlining projects undertaken by eight state or local WIC programs.

See "Streamlining and Modernizing WIC Enrollment" for more information.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

In Case You Missed It…

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 11:42am

This week at CBPP, we focused on housing, food assistance, federal taxes, state budgets and taxes, family income support, and Social Security.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

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