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Correcting Five Myths about the Stimulus, Poverty's High Cost to Health, and Estimating the Cost of Health Disparities

Correcting Five Myths About the Stimulus Bill- This policy brief by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities emphasizes a few key facts: unemployment would be worse without stimulus spending, the intent was always to spend the money over two to three years (not in a couple of months), the costs of the stimulus are small in the context of long-term deficit projections, the law has played a key role in helping states avoid cuts in health care and education, and states are rightly using funds for short-term projects like paving and repair rather than longer-term infrastructure.

The Poor Pay More ”• Poverty's High Cost to Health - As this report by Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity describes, the poor tend to suffer from more illnesses and die younger because of factors including neighborhood safety, housing quality and access to nutritious food. The report examines policies for addressing these problems, such as increasing the minimum wage, investing in early childhood education and increasing aid to jobless workers.

Estimating the Cost of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities - According to the Urban Institute, excess rates of diabetes, hypertension, and stroke among African Americans and Latinos relative to whites will cost $23.9 billion in 2009. Over the next decade, the total cost will be approximately $337 billion.

The Nursing Workforce Challenge: Public Policy for a Dynamic and Complex Market - The next decade may see more nurses retiring than new ones entering the workforce, according to this Urban Institute report. Shortages of nurses are due both to demographic changes and structural issues like low pay and declining public support for training, so the report recommends a focus on raising wages and strengthening public investments in nurse training.

New Law, Same Old Loans: Payday Lenders Sidestep Ohio Law - Policy Matters Ohio finds that despite having one of the best-crafted payday lending laws in the nation, Ohioans are still paying triple-digit interest rates on payday loans. Payday lenders in Ohio are deliberately violating the new law which requires lenders to give people 30 days to pay back loans and established other consumer protections to keep borrowers out of the debt trap.