This week at CBPP, we focused on health, the safety net, the federal budget and taxes, state budgets and taxes, and the economy.
On health, Edwin Park explained that the budget reconciliation bill before the Senate would reverse almost all of health reform’s historic coverage gains, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). He then reiterated these CBO findings following the bill’s passage. Jesse Cross-Call cautioned that the bill’s repeal of health reform’s Medicaid expansion would not only reduce coverage among low-income people but also adversely affect state budgets and hospitals. Paul Van de Water cited new figures showing that the nation’s health spending continues to grow more slowly than before health reform.
On the safety net, Robert Greenstein showed why block-granting safety net programs, as House Speaker Paul Ryan recommended this week, would very likely increase poverty and hardship. Isaac Shapiro detailed why Speaker Ryan’s claim that the safety net is “trapping people in poverty” doesn’t match up with recent CBO data. Ben Spielberg pointed to a new study showing that Supplemental Security Income greatly reduces poverty.
On the federal budget and taxes, David Reich warned that the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education may get shortchanged in the upcoming omnibus appropriations package. Chuck Marr urged lawmakers to allow Puerto Rico’s workers to qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). We updated our report on reducing overpayments in the EITC.
On state budgets and taxes, Michael Leachman showed that Kansas’ economic growth continues to lag, despite massive tax cuts.
On the economy, Chad Stone previewed the November jobs report and its possible impact on Federal Reserve decisions on interest rates.