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| By CBPP

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

  • On health care, Edwin Park cautioned that a per-beneficiary cap on Medicaid spending, which House Speaker Paul Ryan’s health task force will likely include in its plan next week, would shift costs to states and put vulnerable beneficiaries at risk.  Park also outlined proposed legislation that would expand health savings accounts by allowing high-income taxpayers to shelter much more of their income each year.  Sarah Lueck raised concerns about a bill before the House Ways and Means Committee that would allow employers to use a tax-favored, employer-funded account to help workers buy coverage rather than providing health insurance directly.  Hannah Katch highlighted how states are using flexibility under Medicaid to create successful, innovative programs, disproving critics’ claims that Medicaid’s rules inhibit state reforms.  Jesse Cross-Call explained that health reform’s Medicaid expansion is producing state savings and connecting vulnerable groups to care.  Tara Straw refuted claims that marketplace enrollees can “game” health reform’s grace period to get months of free health coverage.
  • On housing, Will Fischer detailed how work requirements in the House Republicans’ poverty plan would undercut federal rental assistance programs’ effectiveness.  Fischer also commended a Department of Housing and Urban Development proposal to tie voucher subsidies to rents in a given neighborhood rather than an entire metro area.  Barbara Sard welcomed several promising ideas in the House GOP poverty plan to make housing vouchers more portable.
  • On the federal budget, David Reich explained why the Zika outbreak meets the criteria for emergency funds and shouldn’t require offsetting spending cuts.
  • On food assistance, Dottie Rosenbaum highlighted a new paper and policy brief that find that raising SNAP (formerly food stamp) benefits would not only raise low-income households’ spending on food but also improve the nutritional quality of their diets.                                                                                   
  • On state budgets and taxes, Michael Leachman lauded a proposed Department of Education rule that would address education funding inequality by leading states and localities to raise funding for high-poverty schools.  We updated our backgrounder on State Earned Income Tax Credits.
  • On Social Security, Kathleen Romig warned that the House GOP poverty plan would eliminate Supplemental Security Income for 1.3 million severely disabled children in poor families.

Chart of the Week: Moving with Voucher to Lower-Poverty Neighborhoods While Young Children Improves Key Adult Outcomes

A variety of news outlets featured CBPP’s work and experts recently. Here are some highlights:

The Debatable Premise Underlying Paul Ryan’s Antipoverty Plan
The New York Times
June 14, 2016

Bigger Food Stamp Benefits Wouldn’t Be Wasted On Junk Food, Study Says
The Huffington Post
June 14, 2016

Part of the safety net does discourage work. Expanding Obamacare would fix that.
The Washington Post
June 14, 2016

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