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If you want mental health services to prevent violence, Medicaid expansion is critical

TCF fellow Harold Pollack responded to the recent shooting on an Oregon college campus, saying that if we are to use mental illness as a scapegoat for many shootings, then we must seriously consider providing better treatment to patients. He suggests better treatment in the form of Medicaid expansion—as opposed to gun reform. 

Cornyn’s proposal does not address the most glaring issue in American mental health policy: the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion. Medicaid expansion was always the public health cornerstone of ACA. It remains the single most important measure to expand access to mental health and addiction treatment, serving severely vulnerable populations such as the homeless, addressing the complicated medical and psychiatric difficulties of many young men cycling through our jails and prisons.

Check out the rest of Pollack's article on Medicaid expansion via the Washington Post.

Tags: mental health, medicaid expansion, gun violence, gun reform

Improve and Repair: Three Ideas to Strengthen the ACA

TCF fellow Harold Pollack authored a piece featured in Democracy Journal, which praises the already successful Affordable Care Act, and goes beyond to offer specific policy upgrades that could make the system even more of a win. He suggests: 

1.) Allow employed parents greater access to the new marketplaces, and allow employers greater flexibility to offer—or not offer—health insurance coverage.
2.) Hire a new corps of 10,000 full-time federal enrollment assisters to help Americans enroll in Medicaid or the new marketplaces.
3.) Offer “public option” early Medicare coverage within health insurance marketplaces to people over 60.

Read Pollack's expanded explanation for his policy recommendations.

Tags: obamacare, insurance, coverage, affordable care act

Concentrated poverty is the new urban panic

An article published in Al Jazeera America cites Paul Jargowsky's "Architecture of Segregation" report, asking whether it is best to address concentrated poverty by breaking up distressed neighborhoods or attempting to fix them. The author concludes that relocation is not the answer.

Not well known to those who live in other neighborhoods are the many residents who devote their time to helping neighbors and working for change. Our policies need to support and reward that work. We must invest in decent schools and services, demand more respectful and effective policing and through media coverage, educational materials and public meetings actively challenge racist stereotypes that have caused generations of damage to our people and our cities.

Read the full article from Susan Greenbaum in Al Jazeera America.

Tags: neighborhood integration, low-income housing, high-poverty neighborhoods, concentrated poverty

Is It Time for a Civil-Rights Movement for the Poor?

Like so many before her, Atlantic reporter Alana Semuels asks "What is to be done?" in response to alleviating the financial burdens put on the poor. She discusses the effects that poverty has on housing, schools, higher education, and the workforce naming TCF senior fellow Rick Kahlenberg's latest work—a critique and expansion of Robert Putnam's book Our Kids—throughout the article. She quotes Kahlenberg saying:

“If you look back at the last 50 years, I think one of the things we can be most proud of is the civil-rights revolution and the way that it changed our country for the better in really profound ways,” he told me. “At the same time, we’ve seen our economic divide grow much worse than it was a half century ago. So it seems to me there may be some lessons from the policies adopted as a result of the civil-rights movement in housing and education and employment that could be applied to our economic situation.”

Read Semuels's Atlantic full article here.

Tags: income inequality, housing segregation, higher education, class segregation

Our Health System Has Big Problems But…

TCF fellow Harold Pollack wrote in Washington Monthly's "Ten Square Miles" that despite the U.S. healthcare and insurance system being a disaster, the nation's mortality rate has surely impressively improved in terms of human mortality rates. Pollack shares some graphs that show these findings:

Read Pollack's article and view the rest of the graphs.

Tags: mortality, healthcare system, gdp

Scam Artists Are Preying on Student Debt Holders—and Google Is Helping

Not only are "debt-forgiveness" companies taking advantage of fragile student debt holders, but they have also infiltrated Google's search results.



Social Insurance

Social Insurance

Compared to other advanced nations, America’s retirement security and health care systems offer weaker protections against risks we all face. The Century Foundation’s work focuses on ideas for strengthening Social Security, pensions, and health care – including steps for building on the Affordable Care Act.

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