The recession associated with the COVID-19 pandemic announced itself in spring 2020 with head-spinning job losses: 22 million lost jobs within two months, a shock that is hard to overstate.
In an earlier brief, we estimated that the American Rescue Plan Act, enacted in March 2021, would reduce the 2021 annual poverty rate to 8.7 percent (Wheaton et al. 2021). We now project a 2021 poverty rate of 7.7 percent for 2021. The revised projection accounts for improvements in the economy, incorporates updated state-level information on pandemic-related policies, and improves the method for weighting the data to reflect 2021.
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.
The report examines who is likeliest to benefit from the $25 billion annual tax expenditure on the mortgage interest deduction (MID) and finds that most benefits flow to higher-income, disproportionately white homeowners. The authors outline how resources dedicated to the MID could instead be used to support low-income renters and homeowners, through expanding rental assistance, investing in affordable rental housing production, supporting small-dollar mortgage lending, and creating stabilization programs to keep low-income families stably housed. (author abstract)
A severe global recession has brought heightened attention to poverty in the United States as the poverty rate rose over time, leveling off at 15.0% in 2011. Recent U.S. Census Bureau data demonstrates the persistence of higher poverty rates for African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, children, single mothers, people with disabilities, and other groups, for example. An earlier Williams Institute study and other research showed that lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people were also more vulnerable to being poor, and this study updates and extends that earlier report.
In recent decades, there has been remarkable growth in scientific research examining the multiple ways in which racism can adversely affect health. This interest has been driven in part by the striking persistence of racial/ethnic inequities in health and the empirical evidence that indicates that socioeconomic factors alone do not account for racial/ethnic inequities in health. Racism is considered a fundamental cause of adverse health outcomes for racial/ethnic minorities and racial/ethnic inequities in health.
Life expectancy and disease rates in the United States differ starkly among Americans depending on their demographic characteristics and where they live. Although health care systems are taking important steps to reduce inequities, meaningful progress requires interventions outside the clinic, in sectors such as employment, housing, transportation, and public safety. Inequities exist in each of these sectors, and barriers to educational attainment, higher-income jobs, and social mobility limit the opportunity of disadvantaged people to improve their circumstances.
The economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the precarious situation of renters in the US and the routine risk of eviction when hardship strikes. Millions of renters faced financial hardship even before the pandemic, and these hardships and eviction risks are connected to structural racism. Racial disparities in incomes, homeownership rates, and personal savings all disproportionately protect white households and leave households of color—especially Black mothers—exposed.
As the world struggles with the rapidly evolving pandemic of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), evidence and experience suggest that low-income and marginalized communities in our global society will bear the biggest impact. Weknow this because, with our colleagues in Boston, Haiti, Uganda, and Sierra Leone, we have worked in under-resourced, overstretched, and overwhelmed health systems for our whole careers.
The Innovations in Financial Capability report is a collaborative report by the National CAPACD and the Institute of Assets and Social Policy (IASP) at Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy and Management, in partnership with Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA), and the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA). The survey report builds upon the 2017 report Foundations for the Future: Empowerment Economics in the Native Hawaiian Context and features the financial capability work of over 40 of our member organizations and other AAPI serving organizations from across the US.