Research Roundup

While the right-wing complains that SCHIP encourages parents to drop employer health coverage for their kids, less discussed is the fact that families with employer-sponsored insurance spend as much as 12.9% of income in out-of-pocket copays and other expenses. The Urban Institute highlights why SCHIP is so important in expanding coverage and also helping families gain access to affordable health care coverage.

While the overall poverty rate was 12.3% in 2006, women were much more likely to be poor than men, with 14.1 million poor adult women compared to 9.5 million poor adult men, a gender gap that leaves women 41% more likely to be poor. Legal Momentum has highlighted this problem in a new policy brief. 

Medicaid enrollment declined in fiscal year 2007 for the first time in a decade, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, partly because new citizenship documentation requirements caused delays in processing applications and partly because of lower unemployment. Kaiser expects at least 42 states to expand coverage for the uninsured in the next year.

A number of states are creating innovative early education programs for low-income children using federal Title 1 funds. In Title I and Early Childhood Programs, CLASP outlines many of the best practices used by those programs, including how to attract well-trained teachers, deal with the broad risk factors associated with poverty, provide comprehensive services for the families of children in the programs, encourage parental involvement, serve limited English and developmentally disabled children, and accommodate working parents in the programs.

In Analysis of Fiscal Year 2006 TANF and MOE Spending by States, CLASP has prepared state-by-state charts of how states use federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grants and state Maintenance of Effort (MOE) funds.

Lower prices, lower wages and, now, it turns out, lower property taxes are all part of the Wal-Mart formula for profits, according to a new report by Good Jobs First. The company has systematically filed more than 2100 property tax challenges to lower property tax assessments for their facilities.  Even though Wal-Mart has lost most of these tax assessment challenges, communities still often lose tens of thousands of dollars in the costs of hiring outside lawyers, appraisers and other consultants to deal with Wal-Mart.