Benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, which are set by the states, fall far short of providing for families’ basic needs, says a report we issued yesterday.
BEYOND THE NUMBERS
Tomorrow, new figures from the Labor Department are expected to confirm that for the second year in a row, Social Security recipients will receive no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in January. Nevertheless, people who have been receiving Social Security for a few years are still ahead of the inflation game. Here’s why:
A provision of the health reform law that took effect last month prohibits insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing health conditions. As a result, for the first time in most states, families with children with serious illnesses, chronic conditions, and special health care needs will be able to purchase coverage for their children in the individual health insurance market. But some insurance companies are resisting the change — and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued a letter today clarifying what insurers can and can’t do under the new rules.
Yesterday I posted about state budget conditions. Readers may want to know how we calculate state shortfalls. Here are the basics:
Today, we sat down with Arloc Sherman, Senior Researcher in the Center’s Welfare Reform and Income Support Division, to discuss “deep poverty” and how it affects families.
State revenues are stabilizing, and many states expect some revenue growth in fiscal year 2011 (which started July 1 in most states) after the record decline of recent years, according to recent Census data. In addition, as states tally up spending and revenues for fiscal year 2010, some are finding that they ended the year in the black. Yet as I noted last week, total state shortfalls for 2012 will be about as big as this year’s. Why do states continue to face huge shortfalls if fiscal conditions are looking up?
This week on Off the Charts, we focused on the economy, the budget deficit, inadequate health insurance plans, and elderly and disabled refugees losing much-needed benefits.
As our analysis of today’s jobs report explains, a sharp decline in government jobs in September more than offset the small gain in private-sector jobs. State and local governments, still coping with a massive recession-induced loss of tax revenue and their own balanced-budget requirements, eliminated 83,000 jobs in September, and most of the lost jobs — some 50,000 of them — were in education. Since August 2008, states and localities have shed 416,000 jobs (see chart). These numbers suggest three things:
As our statement and podcast both explain, today’s jobs report shows that the economy still faces a long and difficult climb out of the jobs hole created by the recent recession. Private-sector job creation has averaged fewer than 100,000 jobs a month this year — not enough to keep up with population growth and not nearly enough to bring down the unemployment rate. Worse, the pace of job creation is slowing as the economy slows; only 64,000 private-sector jobs were created in September.
With states in the third year of a fiscal crisis sparked by their steepest revenue decline on record, we’ve updated our analysis of state budget shortfalls for the current (2011) and coming (2012) fiscal years. Here are the highlights: