- FIRST TUESDAY FORUM
“What We Talk about When We Talk about Fairness”
To watch the video webcast or a recording, you may click here.
This forum will tackle the many dimensions of fairness through multiple lenses: economics, history, and philosophy, especially as they come into play in debates over taxes, spending, and public policy more generally. With election season heating up and candidates drafting their stump speeches, they’ll be making a lot of claims about fairness. Are there ways to assess these claims beyond whether the policy prescriptions agree with ours?
- ENROLLMENT GROWTH DRIVES SPENDING FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID
“Medicare, Medicaid and the Deficit Debate” – By John Holahan and Stacey McMorrow
Between 2000 and 2010, Medicare enrollment increased due to the aging population and Medicaid enrollment increased because of two recessions, with more poor people qualifying for the latter. However, expenditure growth per enrollee was 2.7 percent per year, slightly below that of private insurance. Thus, spending growth in both programs on a per-enrollee basis is close to growth in GDP per capita, the target often advocated by those concerned with the nation’s deficit. Deficit-reduction proposals such as premium support and block grants will have a hard time achieving better outcomes. They produce savings primarily by shifting costs onto existing enrollees and, in the case of Medicaid, onto the states as well.
- WHO FALLS OUT OF THE MIDDLE CLASS?
“Downward Mobility from the Middle Class: Waking Up from the American Dream” – By Gregory Acs
A third of Americans raised in the middle class (between the 30th and 70th percentiles of the income distribution) fall out of that category as adults. Marital status, education, test scores, and drug use have a strong influence on whether a middle-class child loses economic ground as an adult. Only among whites are women more downwardly mobile than men: 30 percent of white women fall out of the middle class, compared with 21 percent of white men.
- TESTIMONY ON TAX REFORM AND STATES
“What Federal Tax Reform Means for State and Local Tax and Fiscal Policies” – By Kim Rueben
The need for fundamental federal tax reform is critical, but it is important to consider how any changes shape not only federal revenues and economic activity but the tax and fiscal policies of state and local governments, Kim Rueben told the Senate Finance Committee.
- NOT ALL ELIGIBLE WOMEN AND CHILDREN RECEIVE NUTRITION ASSISTANCE
“WIC Participants and Their Growing Need for Coverage” – By Michael Martinez-Schiferl
In 2009, 2.7 million infants, 9.5 million children, and 2.9 million women were eligible for benefits from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), but only 2.2 million infants, 4.8 million children, and 2.2 million women received them. This brief summarizes key features of the WIC program, including eligibility rules, participation rates, benefits, and administration.
- SIX STATES TO STREAMLINE LOW-INCOME FAMILIES’ ACCESS TO WORK SUPPORT BENEFITS
Read more at http://www.urban.org/publications/901498.html.
Fragile households seeking solid footing in a weak economy will receive reinvigorated support as Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and South Carolina take up the challenge of streamlining services aiding low-income working families. The six states have been awarded three-year grants to test and implement easy-to-navigate, quick-to-deliver public benefit systems. The grants, the centerpiece of the Work Support Strategies: Streamlining Access, Strengthening Families (WSS) initiative, average about $460,000 per state for each year. The Ford Foundation, the WSS project’s lead funder, has committed $21 million over five years. The Open Society Foundations and the Annie E. Casey Foundation have provided additional support.