The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) under President Trump’s direction plans to eliminate its supervisory role under the Military Lending Act (MLA) of predatory lenders who charge excessive interest on loans to service members. These predatory lenders target young service members and their families who lack an established credit history and have less access to traditional forms of credit when emergencies occur.
In a series called "Innovation Spotlight," Joint Economic Committee Democrats are highlighting cutting-edge policy solutions that empower small towns and rural communities across the nation. The latest edition looks at implementing universal pre-K in Dayton, Ohio.
Today, the Senate Republicans rejected a resolution of disapproval to rescind the Trump administration’s rule expanding junk plans. Junk plans—or short-term, limited duration plans—allow insurance companies to sell lower-value plans and skirt nearly all federal consumer protections.
New survey data shows that annual premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose 5 percent to $19,616 for family plans and 3 percent to $6,896 for single coverage in 2018, continuing the upward trend. The average covered worker is responsible for about 29 percent of the premium for family coverage and 18 percent of the premium for single coverage. And to add on to those costs, a growing share of covered workers face a general annual deductible. Since 2008, general annual deductibles for covered workers have increased more than eight times as fast as wages. This puts a strain on American families’ pocketbooks, as workers have to cover more and more of their health care bills out of pocket.
In a series called "Innovation Spotlight," Joint Economic Committee Democrats are highlighting cutting-edge policy solutions that empower small towns and rural communities across the nation. The latest edition looks at opioid addiction recovery programs in New Hampshire.

New evidence shows that offering two years of high-quality preschool at zero cost boosted labor force participation among mothers in Washington D.C. at both ends of the income spectrum and across all levels of educational attainment. Mothers with less than a high school degree experienced the largest gains. The city now boasts the highest maternal labor force participation rate (LFPR) in the nation. From 2008 to 2016, the LFPR rose 15 points for mothers below 100 percent of the poverty line and 13 points for mothers above 500 of the poverty line. This is further evidence that universal preschool programs are a worthwhile investment in families, providing educational benefits for children and allowing more women to participate in the labor force.
Before the ACA, many new mothers who were covered by Medicaid for delivery lost coverage within six months of giving birth. But after the implementation of the ACA, the uninsured rate among women who had given birth in the past year fell by 41 percent from 2013 to 2016. And in states that expanded Medicaid, the rate was cut by more than half. Despite this progress, more than 1 in 10 new mothers still lacked coverage in 20 states in 2015-16. Instead of supporting programs that expand coverage for new mothers, the latest House Republican budget called for $1.5 trillion in cuts to Medicaid and other health programs.
American medical pioneers make groundbreaking advances every year, from growing organs in petri dishes to performing robot-assisted surgeries. Yet the United States has some of the worst maternal and infant mortality rates in the developed world. Though multiple measures exist, approximately 700 women lose their lives to complications during pregnancy and delivery every year, and research shows that more than half of these deaths are preventable. For every woman that dies in childbirth, 70 more experience complications that threaten their post-maternity health and may require expensive medical treatment well into the future. The total cost of care for treating preeclampsia, a condition characterized by high blood pressure that is a leading cause of death for mothers in the year after giving birth, exceeded $2 billion in 2012.
Republicans unveiled a second round of tax cuts for the wealthy last week. The new law, similar to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, heavily skews its benefits to the wealthiest Americans. The top 20 percent of households would see almost two-thirds of the benefits. And the top 5 percent of wealthiest households in the country would see more than 40 percent of the benefits. On top of this, it will add substantially to the debt, costing nearly $600 billion from 2019 to 2028 and about $3 trillion from 2029 to 2038, even with dynamic scoring. Furthermore, according to the Penn Wharton Budget Model, it would also shrink the economy in the long run.
New Census Bureau data released today show federal programs are keeping millions of Americans out of poverty. Social Security, refundable tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC), and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) continue to be the largest anti-poverty programs. Other programs, such as energy and housing assistance, also play key roles in supporting families to meet their basic needs.