Skip to main content

This page shows a chronological list of all CBPP materials.

Use advanced search and filtering

Pre-2005 Content Archive


Video: The Real Story Behind TABOR

This video discusses the impact of the "Taxpayer Bill of Rights" on Colorado and provides lessons for other states that may be considering similar limits on state taxes and...

Administration Defense of Health Savings Accounts Rests on Misleading Use of Statistics

Key Findings

  • In recent days, the President and other Administration officials have claimed that 40 percent of HSA enrollees have incomes below $50,000 and that 37 percent of HSA enrollees were previously uninsured.
  • These figures are being used in a misleading way. For example, they apply to only a portion of HSA enrollees and cannot be used to draw general conclusions about HSAs.
  • Extensive data not cited by the Administration support concerns that HSAs are most attractive to healthier and wealthier people.

African Americans and Social Security: The Implications of Reform Proposals

Key Findings:

  • Studies show African Americans receive modestly more in Social Security benefits for each dollar they pay in payroll taxes than whites do.
  • African Americans earn 73 percent as much as whites, on average, but because of Social Security’s progressive benefit structure, their average retirement benefit is about 85 percent as much as whites’.
  • African Americans benefit disproportionately from Social Security’s disability and survivors benefits, since they are more likely than other workers to become disabled or die before retiring. For example, while 15 percent of all U.S. children are African American, 23 percent of the children receiving Social Security survivors benefits are.
  • The risks of replacing part of Social Security with private accounts would be more acute for African Americans than for whites, while the potential rewards likely would be smaller.

Out in the Cold: How Much LIHEAP Funding Will Be Needed to Protect Beneficiaries from Rising Energy Prices?

Key Findings

  • The Department of Energy projects that home heating prices will average 31.1 percent more this winter than last winter.
  • Because the spike in prices will substantially increase the number of low-income households in need of assistance, LIHEAP participation is likely to grow by at least 10 percent.
  • Suppose LIHEAP funding increases sufficiently to cover the projected price increases (and to cover the expected increase in program participation). Even so, poor LIHEAP beneficiaries would still see their own share of their heating bills rise by 31.1 percent.
  • To accommodate increased need and hold LIHEAP beneficiaries harmless for rising home heating prices would require LIHEAP funding of at least $4.4 billion.

Still Risky Business: South Carolina’s Revised Medicaid Waiver Proposal

Key Findings

  • South Carolina’s proposal to replace its Medicaid program with a system of private accounts would reduce health coverage for many vulnerable state residents and raise their out-of-pocket health care costs significantly.
  • The funds provided by the state for health care would very likely be 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 South Carolina to serve Medicaid beneficiaries.
  • The waiver is unlikely to reduce the state’s Medicaid expenditures, because it focuses on beneficiaries whose care already is the least expensive, on average, while entailing a substantial increase in the state’s administrative costs.

Assessing the Effects of the Budget Conference Agreement on Low-Income Families and Individuals

Key Findings

  • The budget agreement would cause considerable hardship among low-income families and individuals and is closer in key respects to the original House-passed bill than the Senate bill.
  • Cuts in the final bill include: $16 billion over 10 years in increased Medicaid co-payments and premiums and benefit reductions; new federal mandates in the welfare area that would lead to a loss of an estimated 255,000 child care slots for low-income working families not receiving cash welfare assistance; and nearly $8 billion in lost child support collections over the next 10 years.
  • Such cuts could have been largely or fully averted had the conferees not dropped several Senate provisions that would have achieved substantial savings in reining in excessive Medicare payments to managed care companies and securing better prices from pharmaceutical companies for drugs dispensed though Medicaid.
  • The savings that the budget agreement produces are expected to be used not to reduce the deficit, but to help finance several tax cuts slated to be enacted early next year that will primarily benefit high-income individuals.