Capping SCHIP Big Step Back

We have heard a lot about the need to promote work over the past decade, but we’ve talked less about whether or not there are good jobs for everyone who needs one. According to a new report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research and the Center for Social Policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston, one-in-five people in working families – nearly 41 million – around the country are struggling to make ends meet.

The authors find that many workers are in jobs that do not provide health insurance or enough earnings to cover basic expenditures, but earn too much to qualify for work supports such as Medicaid or SCHIP.

The researchers worked with partners in nine states and the District of Columbia to assess the reach of six public work supports – child care assistance, EITC, Food Stamps, housing assistance (Section 8 and public housing), Medicaid/SCHIP and TANF. While helpful for those who receive them, they find more needs to be done to ensure that hard work pays.

Fully-funded programs with simple applications that have been designed to support working families, like the EITC, make the biggest difference for those who are employed, but not getting ahead. Accordingly, it would seem that effectively capping SCHIP to help only the poorest would be a great step backward for working families