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In Case You Missed It…


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

  • On health care, Shannon Buckingham called for a bipartisan effort to strengthen the U.S. health care system in the wake of the failed effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Robert Greenstein denounced the Senate GOP’s “skinny repeal” bill as a Trojan horse that would pave the way for broader repeal of the ACA and deep cuts to Medicaid. Judith Solomon, Edwin Park, Aviva Aron-Dine, and Matt Broaddus explained how an amendment from Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham would make drastic cuts to Medicaid and marketplace financial assistance. Solomon reported that a $200 billion addition to the Senate GOP health bill would be insufficient to provide affordable private coverage to those who gained coverage under the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. We tracked the Senate floor debate on ACA repeal.

    Park cited Kaiser Family Foundation figures showing that the Senate health bill’s Medicaid per capita cap would cost states $218 billion more between 2020 and 2029. Park also found that the per capita cap would account for one-quarter of the Senate bill’s Medicaid cuts, based on a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis. Jacob Leibenluft and Aron-Dine updated their paper on the damage the Senate GOP health bill would inflict on middle-class families.

    Leibenluft exposed the Senate’s rushed ACA repeal process as an attempt to hide its true harmful impact. David Reich warned that a potential House-Senate conference committee on ACA repeal would likely be just as secretive as the Senate’s secretive approach. Paul Van de Water debunked misleading claims that Medicare is nearing bankruptcy.

  • On federal budget and tax, Sharon Parrott and Spiros Protopsaltis asserted that policymakers should strengthen, not cut, federal Pell Grants program to expand college access for low- and moderate-income families. Parrott denounced the House GOP’s budget resolution for its deep and harmful cuts to student aid programs. David Reich and Chloe Cho found that House appropriations bills for 2018 fall far short of providing adequate funding to meet important national needs.

    Van de Water cautioned that the House should reject proposed cuts to CBO’s budget that would curtail the information available to Congress about proposed legislation’s budgetary and economic effects. Chuck Marr criticized the House GOP budget resolution for prioritizing tax policies favoring the wealthy and corporations. Chye-Ching Huang noted that the Trump Administration’s push for a territorial tax system risks disadvantaging small and domestic U.S. businesses relative to multinationals and threatening U.S. revenues and wages.

  • On food assistance, Elizabeth Wolkomir and Lexin Cai detailed how SNAP’s (formerly food stamps) benefit structure encourages participants to work and seek greater income. Wolkomir summarized four ways that SNAP encourages work.
  • On Social Security, Kathleen Romig noted that the 2017 Social Security trustees’ report shows that the program can pay full benefits for close to two decades, but will then face a significant, though manageable, funding shortfall. We updated our backgrounder on Social Security Disability Insurance.
  • On the economy, we updated our backgrounder on the number of weeks of unemployment benefits available in each state.

Chart of the Week – GOP Health Bill Can’t Be Fixed: All 5 ACA Repeal Bills Cause More than 20 Million People to Lose Coverage

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

This moment in health care … and democracy
Washington Post
July 28, 2017

Killing Obamacare Softly
New York Times
July 27, 2017

The Senate Health-Care Vote-O-Rama: A Guide for the Perplexed
The New Yorker
July 27, 2017

A teacher’s solution to buy school supplies for her classroom: Panhandling
Washington Post
July 24, 2017

The Number of People on Food Stamps is Falling. Here’s Why
July 22, 2017

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