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Pre-2005 Content Archive


Public Benefits: Easing Poverty and Ensuring Medical Coverage

Key Findings:

Assistance provided through public programs:

  • reduces the number of poor Americans by 27 million people, including 14 million elderly people and nearly 5 million children;
  • reduces the severity of poverty for those who remain poor, by increasing their average disposable income from 29 percent to 57 percent of the poverty line; and
  • reduces the ranks of the uninsured by tens of millions.



Risky Business: South Carolina's Medicaid Waiver Proposal


  • South Carolina’s proposal to replace its Medicaid program with a system of private accounts would reduce health coverage for vulnerable state residents and raise their out-of-pocket health care costs significantly.
  • The funds provided by the state for health care would be particularly inadequate for people with above-average health care needs, such as those with disabilities, chronic diseases, or other serious illnesses.
  • The proposal rests on key untested assumptions, such as the belief that a system of managed care plans and provider networks will rapidly emerge in the state to serve Medicaid beneficiaries.

Private Accounts Would Substantially Increase Federal Debt and Interest Payments

Key Findings

  • All of the private account plans that have been proposed would substantially increase federal debt and interest payments.
  • Despite the increases in debt, none of the private account plans would achieve Social Security solvency without large transfers from the rest of the budget, but the rest of the budget is in deficit and has no surplus resources to transfer.
  • The two Social Security plans that do not include private accounts would reduce, rather than increase, federal debt.

OMB's Mid-Session Review

Key Findings

  • The Administration is overly optimistic in assuming that the recent increase in revenues signifies that revenues in future years, as well, will be substantially higher than earlier projections indicated.
  • An examination of factors behind the recent increase in revenues does not support the notion that the President’s tax cuts are substantially boosting the economy and increasing tax collections.
  • OMB’s estimates of deficit levels for the coming five years appear unrealistically low.
  • The troubling long-term budget outlook has not significantly changed.

In a League of Their Own

The definition of "TABOR"

TABOR is a state tax and expenditure limit that includes the following elements:

  • It is a constitutional amendment
  • It restricts revenue or expenditure growth to the sum of inflation plus population change.
  • It requires voter approval to override the revenue or spending limits

The Food Stamp Program

The Food Stamp Program has been streamlined and modernized and carries new protections against fraud. For many families, food stamps are a work support that provides a bridge from welfare...

Streamlining And Coordinating Benefit Programs' Application Procedures


The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Project on Program Simplification and Coordination conducts research and analysis on how benefit program rules can be simplified and better integrated across programs.  The project also provides technical assistance to states and policy analysts interested in pursuing simplification and alignment strategies in their states.

The project focuses on the main state-administered benefit programs for families with children — Medicaid, SCHIP, food stamps, TANF, and child care — with a goal of reducing the administrative burden of the programs on both states and low-income families.

This report is part of a series designed to describe how states can streamline their rules and procedures in particular areas.  Future reports will address simplification and alignment issues related to change reporting rules, verification procedures, and income and asset policies.