The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Essay: SNAP’s Powerful Effects, Ways to Improve It

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 10:38am

SNAP (food stamps) is an effective program that helps millions of Americans put food on the table, but there’s room to build upon its successes, as we write in a special issue of the American Journal of Public Health that’s focused on SNAP.

As we describe in our essay:

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Accuracy of Medicaid Eligibility Determinations Should Also Ensure That Eligible People Are Enrolled

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 9:30am

Facing Trump Administration pressure to make their Medicaid eligibility determinations more accurate, states are conducting more income checks, increasing paperwork, and ending coverage when their mail to enrollees is

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

In Case You Missed It...

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 2:22pm

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

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Trapped by the Firewall: Policy Changes Are Needed to Improve Health Coverage for Low-Income Workers

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 12:34pm

Employer-sponsored coverage often works well, allowing many people to enroll in comprehensive health benefits using employer contributions that make premiums affordable. But the picture can be quite different for low-income workers.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Rental Assistance Shortage Leaves 700,000 Veterans Homeless or Struggling to Afford Housing

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 3:59pm

As Veterans Day approaches, hundreds of thousands of veterans struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Some 38,000 veterans were homeless on a single night in January 2018, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates. Moreover, 666,000 veterans lived in low-income households that paid more than half of their income for rent and utilities in 2017, Census data show.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Executive Order, Other Administration Actions Would Weaken Medicare

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 10:46am

President Trump billed a recent executive order as “protecting and improving Medicare for our nation’s seniors” and “enhancing [its] fiscal sustainability,” but it would actually do the opposite.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Improving Access to Housing Assistance for Youth Exiting Foster Care

Wed, 11/06/2019 - 1:39pm

Thank you for the opportunity to testify. I am Peggy Bailey, Vice President for Housing Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The Center is an independent, nonprofit policy institute that conducts research and analysis on a range of federal and state policy issues affecting low- and moderate-income families. The Center’s housing work focuses on increasing access and improving the effectiveness of federal low-income rental assistance programs.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

ACA Medicaid Expansion Drove Large Drop in Uncompensated Care

Tue, 11/05/2019 - 12:53pm

Health coverage gains continued to drive down uncompensated care costs through 2016, according to the latest data from the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission. Such costs have fallen significantly since the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) major coverage expansions took effect, as we’ve reported.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

New Research: Medicaid Expansion Saves Lives

Tue, 11/05/2019 - 12:01pm

Since the start of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid expansion to low-income adults, evidence has poured in that the expansion is helping enrollees access and afford care. But as more time passes, researchers can also examine how expansion is affecting other health and financial outcomes. New research finds the policy is delivering on its promise to improve both financial security and health – including by saving lives.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Automatic Reconciliation an Undesirable Part of Enzi-Whitehouse Budget Process Bill

Mon, 11/04/2019 - 4:29pm

The bill could drive harmful budget cuts and unsound economic policy.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

In Case You Missed It...

Fri, 11/01/2019 - 4:57pm

This week at CBPP, we focused on health, federal tax, food assistance, and the economy.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Suit Challenging ACA Legally Suspect, But Threatens Loss of Coverage for Millions

Fri, 11/01/2019 - 4:29pm

A three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will soon announce a decision in Texas v. United States, the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Medicaid Expansion Has Saved at Least 19,000 Lives, New Research Finds

Fri, 11/01/2019 - 12:41pm

New evidence that thousands of lives are at stake should give states that have not yet expanded Medicaid one more reason to do so.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

ACA Lawsuit Would Cut Taxes for the Most Well-Off While Ending Health Coverage for Millions

Fri, 11/01/2019 - 10:55am

The Trump Administration and 18 state attorneys general are asking the courts to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) as unconstitutional. If the lawsuit were to succeed, 20 million people would lose health insurance, and millions more would face higher costs for health insurance or health care.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Opportunity Zones Exemplify 2017 Tax Law’s Fundamental Flaws

Thu, 10/31/2019 - 4:08pm

The New York Times and ProPublica have highlighted major flaws in the 2017 tax law’s “opportunity zone” tax break — which was ostensibly designed to encourage investment in low-income areas but is really a regressive tax cut for wealthy investors, with dubious benefits for low- and moderate-income households.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit Lifted 10.6 Million People out of Poverty in 2018

Thu, 10/31/2019 - 1:35pm

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit together boosted the incomes of 28.1 million poor Americans in 2018, lifting 10.6 million above the poverty line and making 17.5 million others less poor, our analysis of new Census data shows. These totals include 11.9 million children, 5.5 million of whom were lifted out of poverty and another 6.4 million made less poor. The figures use the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, which — unlike the official poverty measure — accounts for taxes and non-cash benefits as well as cash income.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Use Caution When Shopping Outside

Thu, 10/31/2019 - 11:27am

Consumers can shop for 2020 health insurance coverage during the open enrollment period of November 1 to December 15 but, if they use enrollment pathways other than, they risk choosing subpar coverage and missing out on financial help for which they’re eligible in the marketplace.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Working With Brokers and Web-Based Brokers to Enroll in Health Coverage

Thu, 10/31/2019 - 9:26am

The best way for consumers to get accurate, unbiased information about their health insurance options is to shop at, or with the help of a certified navigator or application counselor (“assister”). But for those who choose to work with a web-based broker, individual agent or broker, or insurance company instead, here are some steps to protect yourself.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Children’s Uninsured Rate Rose for Second Straight Year in 2018

Wed, 10/30/2019 - 9:48am

The uninsured rate among children rose for the second straight year in 2018 to 5.2 percent, up from 2016’s historic low of 4.7 percent, a new report from Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families (CCF) finds.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty


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