Americans have gained significantly from the ACA, even if they may not realize it. People with pre-existing conditions can get a health plan in the individual market. Young adults can stay on their parents’ plans. Moderate income families qualify for subsidies so they can afford private coverage and pay their out-of-pocket costs. Poor, working families can depend on Medicaid so they can stay employed. More people are getting care, and, importantly, preventive care.

Across the country, 29.8 million people would lose their health insurance if the Affordable Care Act were repealed—more than doubling the number of people without health insurance. And 1.2 million jobs would be lost—not just in health care but across the board.


Vital Signs

Research consistently shows a direct correlation between income, race, where you live and your health. In general, health outcomes for low-income Latinos, Blacks and other people of color are not as favorable as the outcomes for affluent White people. Colorado is no exception to this scientifically validated but preventable trend – despite making significant gains in providing health coverage to its residents and boasting the lowest obesity rate in the country. “Vital Signs,” a new online report by the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, highlights the dramatic influence of income, race and place on health and reveals stark disparities in this state and the effect on those who live here.

Paid Family & Medical Leave: Policy Analysis and Recommendations for Indiana

Policies that provide paid time off to care for family members or recover from a serious medical event offer a host of benefits to workers; their newborn, newly adopted, or fostered children; and the ill spouses, aging parents, or military family members for whom they care.

But can paid family and medical leave be good for businesses, too? Compelling new evidence suggests that it can, and now is an ideal time for Indiana to craft paid family and medical leave legislation that will enable employees to access these benefits without overburdening their employers.
This publication will:
• outline the case for paid family and medical leave, including the potential benefits of expanded access
to paid leave for Hoosier families, businesses and the economy
• describe what is currently available in Indiana and in other states
• make recommendations for state policy

Job Quality in WIOA: Three Ways to Steer Investments towards High Road Jobs

  • November 30, 2016
  • COWS
  • Laura Dresser, Hannah Halbert, and Stephen Herzenberg.

Implementation of the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is well underway. This process creates unprecedented opportunity to adopt policies and practices that boost job quality. Connecting workers with the best quality job possible serves job seekers better. More stable work means higher income, longer job tenure, and better predictability for managing the tensions between work and life. But beyond that, WIOA policies for job quality help protect public investments in training by ensuring that those investments are not simply lost in a revolving door of turnover. Policies that focus on better quality jobs help make WIOA resources a reward for employers who are already treating their workers with greater care, rather than subsidizing low-road competitors who may waste the investment. A new report produced by COWS, the Keystone Research Center in Pennsylvania, and Policy Matters Ohio, identifies three WIOA quality standards that can target public training investment where it will have stronger returns.

Kansas’ Health and Prosperity Index: 2016

A healthy Kansas economy starts with healthy Kansans. Our state enjoys many advantages when it comes to health – open space, clean air and water, and a good sense of community.

Despite these amenities, however, Kansas finds itself in the middle of the pack when examining the health, economic, and social foundation of the state in comparison to other states in the region. A stable economic underpinning works to promote the health and well-being of all Kansans. In other words, a Kansan’s health involves much more than just healthy living and good choices – a range of factors make an impact. These factors (also known as the social determinants of health) comprise approximately 90% of what determines the health of the state’s population

To determine how Kansas ranks relative to its regional counterparts, the Kansas Center for Economic Growth (KCEG) collected and analyzed a total of 39 indicators divided among the four key areas in the model above. Overall, Kansas ranks right in the middle of the pack when compared to the six other states in the region, which include Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.
While being ‘right in the middle’ may not sound so bad, this ranking doesn’t take into account how recent policy choices may impact Kansas’ performance for years to come. Whether it’s unsustainable state tax policy that limits investments in public education or a refusal to expand KanCare to help improve the physical and mental health of Kansans, state policy choices will reverberate through the state for some time.

Though the Health and Prosperity Index (HAPI) is a new endeavor, KCEG will track these indicators over time to determine the impact of current policy choices on future outcomes. For now, the Kansas  API results focus on short-term indicators available today.