As of July 2021, 12 states have not expanded Medicaid as permitted by the Affordable Care Act, contributing to 5.8 million people with incomes below the federal poverty level being without coverage. One approach to help cover people in this “Medicaid gap” would be to have the federal government make Marketplace coverage available to those between current Medicaid eligibility levels and the federal poverty level. An alternative would be to employ a public option plan in the Marketplace to for the same population.
What if everyone had the same prospects for living a long and healthy life, no matter who they are or where they call home? In this future, all people live in safe and healthy environments; enjoy reliable access to health care, nutritious food, and stable housing; and have the knowledge and opportunities to make healthy choices about diet and exercise. And none of us has to contend with the harms of persistent racial discrimination, violence, trauma, and injustice.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the primary federal food assistance program, aims to reduce hunger and food insecurity by augmenting low-income families’ purchasing power. However, the effectiveness of SNAP can be limited in a variety of ways, including by maximum benefit level, challenges with the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP), and geographic variation in food prices. In an earlier version of this brief, we documented one of these limitations: the failure of the SNAP benefit to account for the wide geographic variation in food prices across the US.
Repairing the aging, deteriorating public housing stock is a major challenge facing the Biden administration. We draw on three decades of research to highlight shortcomings in past public housing redevelopment programs such as HOPE VI and Choice Neighborhoods, including the loss of critically needed units and a lack of meaningful resident engagement in planning for redevelopment, relocation, and services. But future public housing redevelopment efforts can go beyond the mixed-income approach of past and ongoing initiatives and promote racial equity.
Low-income families in the United States tend to live in neighborhoods that offer limited opportunities for upward income mobility. One potential explanation for this pattern is that low-income families prefer such neighborhoods for other reasons, such as affordability or proximity to family and jobs. An alternative explanation is that families do not move to high-opportunity areas because of barriers that prevent them from making such moves.
We study the sources of racial and ethnic disparities in income using de-identified longitudinal data covering nearly the entire U.S. population from 1989-2015. We document three sets of results.
This COVID-19 recession/recovery is akin to a schoolyard game of kickball. As the economy tries to rebound, companies are adding workers to their team, yet a group is being picked last—Black workers.
This isn't the first time, either. When the Great Recession began, Black workers' unemployment rate increased to double digits and remained that high for more than six years. In comparison, the unemployment rate among white workers never reached double digits during the Great Recession or its recovery.
The most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) monthly jobs report shows that the economy gained 850,000 jobs in June 2021, marking an increase in job growth after 583,000 jobs were gained in May 2021. Women accounted for 47.6% of job gains last month, gaining 405,000 jobs while men gained 445,000. Nevertheless, women would need more than 9 straight months of job gains at last month’s level to recover the nearly 3.8 million net jobs they have lost since February 2020. (author abstract)
Accelerating Equity and Justice focuses on the promise of guaranteed basic income and generational wealth accumulation to alleviate poverty, shift narratives that question the deservedness of social assistance and lessen racial wealth inequality. The report highlights the urgent need for bold, disruptive, and transformational policy with equity, well-being, and racial justice at the center.
Research has repeatedly argued that increasing the rate at which Black people start businesses could reduce the racial wealth gap between Black and white families, but increasing the rate of Black entrepreneurship may actually exacerbate the racial wealth gap, due to the economic cost associated with business closure.