Government safety net programs aim to protect families during tough times—before they fall into poverty. But rising unemployment, foreclosures, and economic distress are putting pressure on a system already in need of updates and repairs.
Urban Institute experts, building on decades of welfare reform research, evaluated public safety nets and proposed new initiatives to bolster work supports and help families gain a stable financial footing. Read more.
One in five children in the U.S. lives in poverty. The Children’s Defense Fund contracted with the Urban Institute to estimate how much child poverty could be reduced by a comprehensive set of policies—increasing the minimum wage, providing transitional jobs, expanding subsidized housing and child care, increasing food assistance, increasing federal income tax credits, and changing how child support is counted in determining benefits. Urban Institute staff analyzed the policies using the TRIM3 microsimulation model. We estimate that the full package of policies would reduce the number of poor children by 60 percent--from 10.9 million to 4.3 million.
Change in state government, as in other large public and private organizations, is an uphill battle. In social and health service agencies, public officials seeking change face myriad challenges, including frequent turnover, limited funding, and lengthy legal and regulatory processes. Despite these obstacles, change is possible and is often driven by strong leaders. In this brief focused on leadership, we examine how state government officials in Colorado and Illinois, two states participating in the Work Support Strategies project, seized opportunities, addressed challenges, and led change.
This report is the first state-level projection of ACA coverage gains for racial/ethnic groups. Absent ACA coverage provisions, Latinos, blacks, and American Indian/Alaska Natives are overrepresented among the uninsured. With the ACA and current state Medicaid expansion decisions, uninsurance rates are projected to fall for each racial/ethnic group, narrowing coverage differences between whites and each minority group, except for blacks. If all states were to expand their Medicaid programs, we project that uninsurance rates would fall further for all racial/ethnic groups, with blacks experiencing a marked reduction. Effective outreach can further reduce uninsurance rates for all racial/ethnic groups