This paper examines Massachusetts residents’ satisfaction with their health insurance coverage using the 2013 Massachusetts Health Reform Survey (MHRS). We find that nonelderly adults in Massachusetts are generally quite satisfied with their coverage, their network of health care practitioners, and the quality of care available with their plans. However, they are less satisfied with the financial protections afforded by their

July 1, 2015
Journal Article
 

From 1990 to 2010, inequality in the United States increased in many ways. This report shows that the income, wealth, and educational attainment of residents in the most privileged neighborhoods in the United States escalated rapidly over these two decades. Meanwhile, residents of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods gained little; many of these neighborhoods grew poorer. As a result, inequality between top and bottom

July 1, 2015
Research Report
 

In response to the financial market crisis and Great Recession, there has been a resurgence of interest in financial transaction taxes (FTTs) around the world. We estimate that a well-designed FTT could raise about $50 billion per year in the United States and would be quite progressive. We discuss the effects of an FTT on various dimensions of financial sector behavior and its ambiguous effects on economic efficiency.

June 30, 2015
Research Report
 

Prices are the major driver of why the United States spends so much more on health care than other countries do. The pricing power that hospitals have garnered recently has resulted from consolidated delivery systems and concentrated markets. New payment and delivery models being pioneered in Medicare, especially those built around accountable care organizations (ACOs), offer an opportunity to reduce pricing power, but only if

June 29, 2015
Journal Article
 

The June 2015 edition of At A Glance, the Housing Finance Policy Center’s reference guide for mortgage and housing market data, includes updated figures describing the size of the US housing and mortgage markets, negative household equity, and the latest GSE risk-sharing deals.

June 26, 2015
Research Report
 

This brief presents a selection of findings from a four-year, mixed-methods study of a cohort of new entrants to child care subsidy programs in four selected sites in Illinois and New York. In-depth interviews with subsidy clients address the following questions: What do clients recommend to improve the subsidy program’s ability to support families? Do parents perceive any subsidy program characteristics and job characteristics

June 26, 2015
Brief
 

Families receiving social welfare benefits and tax credits can face implicit marginal tax rates on earnings above 60 percent, especially when they participate in multiple programs. Program designs may penalize work and marriage and create complexity for beneficiaries and program managers. In this congressional testimony, Steuerle argues for comprehensive reforms that consider tax and expenditure programs together and orients

June 25, 2015
Testimony
 

We analyze how price competition in the ACA’s nongroup insurance marketplaces varies by insurer type: national, regional, Blue Cross Blue Shield, previously Medicaid-only, provider-sponsored, and co-ops. National insurers are expanding their presence, but are not yet pricing aggressively. Regional insurers have increased participation but seem to be losing price competitive ground. Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers have widespread

June 25, 2015
Research Report
 

The case for a carbon tax is strong. A well-designed tax could efficiently reduce the emissions that cause climate change and encourage innovation in cleaner technologies. The resulting revenue could finance tax reductions, spending priorities, or deficit reduction—policies that could offset the tax’s distributional and economic burdens, improve the environment, or otherwise improve Americans’ well-being. But moving a carbon tax

June 25, 2015
Research Report
 

This report further analyzes the 2013 Massachusetts Health Reform Survey (MHRS) by comparing the experience of adults with public coverage to adults with employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) coverage across a number of access and affordability measures. Findings show problems with access to care were more prevalent for adults with public coverage than for those with ESI. These disparities persist even after controlling for

June 23, 2015
Research Report
 

This brief explores the ways youth-employment program providers can help young people who are out of the labor force and out of school obtain valuable work experience or further education. The analysis draws upon experiences and lessons learned from a recent day-long event that was sponsored by The Rockefeller Foundation and hosted by the Urban Institute in partnership with the Urban Alliance. That event provided a framing for

June 19, 2015
Brief
 

Promise Neighborhoods are required to collect population-level data to report on performance indicators every year. For several of these indicators, they must use surveys to collect information on children, parents, and families living within the Promise Neighborhood footprint and students attending target schools. A number of Promise Neighborhoods have also found surveys to be an important tool for building better connections

June 19, 2015
Research Report
 

This comment letter responds to the FHFA’s May 21, 2015 request for input on which house price index should be used to adjust the conforming loan limits. The authors agree that the FHFA’s own expanded-data index is the logical choice for setting mortgage loan limits.

June 17, 2015
Brief
 

This brief provides an overview of four analyses of the implications of a Supreme Court finding for the plaintiffs in King. Burwell. At stake is whether or not the federal government can continue to provide premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions to residents of states that have not established their own health insurance marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act. In 34 states, such a finding would mean an increase of 8.

June 16, 2015
Brief
 

The role of local governance within global development is approaching an important inflection point. To the extent that local governments function as effective platforms for collective local decision-making and as effective mechanisms for promoting the collective interests of their constituents, local governments are ideal partners for achieving development success. Moreover, regardless of the mechanism or type of

June 16, 2015
Brief
 

Rapid re-housing, an intervention that helps homeless families exit shelters and get back into permanent housing quickly, provides short-term help with housing expenses and case management focused on housing stability. Rapid re-housing is a relatively new but, as early evidence shows, promising strategy that communities across the country are adopting. Drawing on program data and early findings from evaluations in progress, this

June 16, 2015
Research Report
 

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative aims to redevelop distressed assisted housing developments and transform their surrounding neighborhoods. This Interim Report introduces the first five implementation sites in Boston, Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Seattle and the plans for rebuilding them. Ranging from a few blocks to over two square miles, the sites vary greatly in

June 16, 2015
Research Report
 

To address chronic underfunding problems, the Louisiana state legislature replaced the traditional pension for state government employees with a cash balance plan, but the courts invalidated the measure. This report assesses how employees would fare under that reform. Results show that a slight majority would do worse in the cash balance plan than the existing plan, but about three-fourths would fare better under an alternative

June 16, 2015
Research Report
 

This issue brief describes the experiences of Schoharie, a small town in upstate New York, impacted by serious flooding of the Schoharie Creek caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Strom Lee during August-September 2011. It describes the extent of damage, post-flood recovery activities and prospects for avoiding floods in the future. These events are interpreted from perspective of the National Planning Frameworks which

June 16, 2015
Brief
 

This toolkit details the key considerations for jail administrators and community-based organizations interested in developing a family-focused jail program. Program components may include parenting classes, parent-child contact visits, and phone calls during which parents are “coached” by staff members about how to speak with their children. Family-focused jail programs aim to strengthen the bond between parent and child,

June 15, 2015
Brief
 

This toolkit outlines key considerations for law enforcement agencies interested in developing parental arrest policies. These policies prioritize the physical and emotional well-being of children by helping officers think through how to handle the dynamic scenarios they face when arresting a parent. They seek to reduce the number of children who witness their parent’s arrest, who are left alone after their parent’s arrest, and

June 15, 2015
Brief
 

Since 2000, rents have risen while the number of renters who need low-priced housing has increased. These two pressures make finding affordable housing even tougher for very poor households in America. Nationwide, only 28 adequate and affordable units are available for every 100 renter households with incomes at or below 30 percent of the area median income. Not a single county in the United States has enough affordable housing

June 15, 2015
Research Report