The Case of the Missing Jobs, From Foreclosure to Re-Redlining, Questions about TANF, and Much More

The Case of the Missing Jobs, Revisited - Good Jobs First finds that ARRA data is significantly undercounting jobs created due to federal spending because states are not reporting any jobs created for many projects already underway.

From Foreclosure to Re-Redlining: How America’s largest financial institutions devastated California communities - Using original research using lending and loan modification data that have been largely inaccessible and seldom analyzed, this report from the California Reinvestment Coalition finds that high cost predatory loans in the past have now led to an alarming trend of dispossession in neighborhoods with high concentrations of African American and Latino residents.  Those lenders continue to refuse to work with families to prevent foreclosures.  The report recommends strong federal and state regulatory reform, more help for struggling homeowners and continued vigilance in enforcement of fair housing and fair lending rules.

Spotlight’s questions about TANF - With the nation's welfare program, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) expiring in October, Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity has asked Governors, Mayors, and state legislators to give their insights on the program.  Over the next three weeks, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, former Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, Savannah Mayor Otis Johnson, and former Wisconsin Governor Scott McCallum answer one question each week about TANF in the 21st century.  Another group of elected officials will contribute during the following weeks.

Health care studies highlight gains from pharma reforms, savings on "medical homes", and rising projected costs in health care:

  • Pennsylvania's academic detailing program launched in October 2005 has an annual cost of $1 million.  However, an evaluation of the program has found a significant decrease in inappropriate prescribing, leading to dollar savings that offset the cost of the program.  The program is looking to expand to other state-funded entitlement programs.

  • Medicaid and Managed Care: Key Data, Trends, and Issues, a policy brief from the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured provides an overview of the Medicaid program’s increasing reliance on managed care to deliver services.  The goal of this approach is to improve access to care and coordination of care by assuring that enrollees have a "medical home" with a primary care provider, and to rely more heavily on preventive and primary care.  Adopting managed care also gives states more cost predictability and control over their Medicaid programs, and contracts with managed care plans offer states a mechanism for holding plans accountable for the quality of care they provide to Medicaid enrollees.

  • Health Spending Projections Through 2019: The Recession’s Impact Continues: According to a new government study published last week in Health Affairs, national health expenditures are projected to have risen to $2.5 trillion in 2009, or 17.3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the largest one-year increase since the federal government began keeping track in 1960.  The 1.1% point increase in expenditures was boosted by spending on public health programs amidst a deepening recession.  These findings underscore the need for comprehensive health care reform that will help rein in the unsustainable spending growth that is placing an increasing burden on American families, businesses, and state and local governments.  Of greater concern for the future of our health system and the health of our economy is the projection that health spending will increase to nearly one-fifth (19.3%) of GDP by 2019, with a growing number of uninsured and underinsured as more businesses find it difficult to pay for adequate insurance coverage for employees.