Prescriptions and spending on Medicaid-covered medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) and opioid overdose increased dramatically between 2010 and 2017, based on data through the fourth quarter of 2017. The largest increases occurred after 2014. Yet opioid-related death rates remain high, suggesting that treatment rates for OUD and opioid overdose remain low and are not meeting demand, even among Medicaid

February 21, 2019
Brief
 

Social media can be a valuable tool for law enforcement agencies to disseminate information to the public and gauge community sentiment regarding agency policies and practices. We conducted a survey of law enforcement agencies and collected Twitter data from survey respondents to examine how law enforcement agencies currently use social media. Drawing from these data sources, this guidebook describes the importance of

February 19, 2019
Brief
 

Many law enforcement agencies across the country use social media to disseminate information and engage the communities they serve. To ensure that a department has a clear vision for its social media use and effectively pursues that vision in practice, it is important to develop and regularly update social media policy and guidelines. As part of a survey of law enforcement use of social media, we collected agency social media

February 19, 2019
Brief
 

The millions of tweets shared on Twitter daily are a rich resource of public sentiment on countless topics. In the wake of highly publicized officer-involved shootings, many people take to social media to express their opinions, both positive and negative, of the police. We collected millions of public tweets and employed machine learning to explore whether we can measure public sentiment toward the police. Specifically, we

February 19, 2019
Brief
 

Erica Greenberg submitted testimony to the Connecticut General Assembly’s Black and Puerto Rican Caucus outlining the reasons the state might consider changing how it counts low-income students for funding purposes. Her testimony explains why existing measures of student poverty are becoming less useful and provides an overview of a possible solution.

February 19, 2019
Testimony
 

Child advocacy organizations have proven the value of using data to make the case for policies and programs to improve the lives of children and families. Many state governments have also embraced the open data movement by using data portals to promote government transparency and increase data access. Child advocacy organizations and state governments can leverage open data to improve the lives of children and families. This

February 19, 2019
Brief
 

Local data intermediaries, like the members of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP), have a track record of working with neighborhoods and across sectors to tackle community issues, and are well positioned to bolster criminal justice reform efforts. In a network survey, NNIP Partners identified community interests and needs across the span of criminal justice issues, with disparities in policing and

February 18, 2019
Fact Sheet
 

Linda J. Blumberg, Institute Fellow in the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center, testified before the Health and Long Term Care Committee of the Washington State Senate. In her testimony, Blumberg discusses the potential implications of state Senate Bill 5526 for levels of employer sponsored insurance offers and coverage as well as the possibility of cost-shifting between the private nongroup insurance market and employer-

February 18, 2019
Testimony
 

Many state governments have embraced the open data movement by using data portals to promote government transparency and increase data access. At the same time, child advocacy organizations have proven the value of using government data to make the case for policies and programs to improve the lives of children and families. Even with these advances, there is still great opportunity for child advocacy organizations and state

February 18, 2019
Fact Sheet
 

Child advocacy organizations have proven the value of using data to make the case for policies and programs to improve the lives of children and families. Data sharing and use have advanced over the past few years, but communities can still do more. Child advocacy organizations and state governments can leverage open data to improve the lives of children and families. This fact sheet outlines five actionable steps that child and

February 18, 2019
Fact Sheet
 

Most workers contribute to Social Security throughout their working lives and receive benefits after they retire. The balance between lifetime contributions and benefits determines the program’s sustainability and progressivity. This brief uses DYNASIM, the Urban Institute’s dynamic microsimulation model, to project lifetime benefits and taxes for people born between 1940 and 1999. The results show that most nondisabled

February 15, 2019
Brief
 

Concern is growing among some analysts that recent economic growth in the US has not translated to economic well-being across the board. This study focuses on the share of Americans in financial distress in 2017, a year of relatively low unemployment. We find that a third of moderate-income adults experience financial insecurity in the past 12 months. In addition, one in eight of them say they must turn to high interest rate

February 14, 2019
Research Report
 

Employment is a key step on the pathway to economic security, but having a job far from guarantees financial stability. This study finds that employment is not always an effective shield against financial insecurity. Among households with two working adults, about 23 percent experienced some form of financial insecurity and about 9 percent relied on alternative financial services to cover expenses. In addition, we find workers

February 14, 2019
Research Report
 

In 2007, as the scale and urgency of the housing crisis became clear, Congress authorized an emergency program to help Americans in danger of losing their homes. Between 2008–18, the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) program helped homeowners in need by substantially boosting the nation’s capacity for foreclosure counseling. Implemented by NeighborWorks America®, the program served more than 2

February 13, 2019
Research Report
 

Between 2006 and 2017, growth in spending per enrollee in Medicare and Medicaid was much slower than in private insurance according to a new analysis by John Holahan and Stacey McMorrow of the Urban Institute, with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Medicare and Medicaid spending per enrollee grew 2.4 percent per year and 1.6 percent per year, respectively, compared to 4.4 percent per year for private insurance.

February 11, 2019
Brief
 

Finding high-quality child care that aligns with parents’ work schedules can be a significant barrier to successful employment and children’s healthy development. In the District of Columbia, many residents with young children work nontraditional hours, and the supply of licensed child development facilities is likely insufficient to meet that need. The extent of the need for child care during nontraditional hours in

February 11, 2019
Research Report
 

As states implement new training and professional development initiatives for home-based child care providers in response to the 2014 reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act, opportunities exist for planning research and evaluation to learn more about these providers and how to improve the quality of care they provide. This brief is intended to support Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) lead

February 11, 2019
Research Report
 

Steven M. Rosenthal, Senior Fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, testified before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight during a hearing entitled “Legislative Proposals and Tax Law Related to Presidential and Vice-Presidential Tax Returns.” In his testimony, Rosenthal discusses the importance of disclosing tax returns of current and potential presidents and vice-presidents, the need for new legislation

February 7, 2019
Testimony
 

The Florida Tax Credit (FTC) scholarship program, the nation’s largest private school choice program, provides more than 100,000 scholarships annually that can be used to enroll in participating private schools. This study finds that students who enroll in private school through the FTC program are more likely to go to and graduate from college than their public school peers. Background A 2017 Urban Institute report found

February 4, 2019
Brief
 

The US social safety net is not a single program but rather consists of many different programs providing different kinds of help to a variety of individuals and families. We assess how many people are served by the current system and the characteristics of those recipients, considering six kinds of benefits that are means tested and provide regular monthly benefits. The US social safety net reaches a large and diverse

February 4, 2019
Brief
 

There are clear winners and losers in the competition to attract community development capital, including resources coming from the federal government, with some areas drawing more capital than others, even after adjusting for relative needs. Using our recently developed tool, Community Development Financial Flows, we  measured flows of federally sponsored or incentivized community development capital to all US counties

January 31, 2019
Fact Sheet
 

Texas’s school funding formula is a power-equalization formula, with different tiers of funding that aim to provide similar levels of funding for similar tax effort. In the 2017–18 school year, the state funding formula resulted in slightly progressive cost-adjusted funding across districts in terms of students’ poverty status, while white students and rural students, on average, are enrolled in districts with higher per student

January 31, 2019
Research Report
 

This report finds that the share of young adults (ages 25 – 34) living with their parents has increased from 12 to 22 percent between 2000 and 2017, adding 5.6 million more young adults living in parent’s home. The researchers examine the causes and consequences of this change and conclude that this could have along-term negative impact since, historically, young adults who live at home longer are less likely to move out in the

January 31, 2019
Research Report
 

A 2018 federal rule changing the definition of short-term health plans has created a new marketing opportunity for insurance companies. A short-term plan can now be sold as a substitute for traditional insurance even though it is exempt from the consumer protections prescribed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This study assesses short-term plan insurers’ marketing tactics in the wake of the new federal rules and how regulators

January 31, 2019
Research Report
 

Kindred aims to tackle issues of racial and economic segregation in DC schools and communities by supporting dialogue groups for parents. In June 2017, the Urban Institute conducted surveys and focus groups among Kindred participants at Marie Reed Elementary School. Participants responded favorably to their experiences. Survey and focus group data suggest that Kindred activities produce the shifts in parent perceptions and

January 31, 2019
Brief