Options to Reform the Home Mortgage Interest Deduction (Testimony)
Eric Toder's testimony before the U.S. House of Representative’s Committee on Ways and Means in a hearing on tax reform and residential real estate.
Sustainable Housing Finance: Perspectives on Reforming FHA (Testimony)
|Publication Date: April 25, 2013|
In testimony before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, Urban Institute President Sarah Rosen Wartell described alternatives for reforming the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to ensure a sustainable housing finance system, focusing on steps Congress can take now to improve FHA’s financial health by strengthening its ability to assess and manage risk and mitigate loss.
Financing Medicare and Medicaid (Testimony)
|Publication Date: April 10, 2013|
Continuing to slow health cost growth is essential; but Medicare and Medicaid are not in crisis. Recent per beneficiary cost growth has slowed so significantly that CBO has dramatically reduced its spending projections for the coming decade. In Medicare, refinement of existing payment mechanisms alongside payment reform can produce additional savings. But as the elderly population doubles over the coming decades, a balanced deficit-reduction package must include new revenues The alternative, changing entitlement structures through vouchers or block grants (or adopting an overly ambitious savings target that could produce the same results), would undermine essential protections and shift or even increase health care costs.
Financial Products Tax Reform Discussion Draft (Testimony)
|Publication Date: March 18, 2013|
Steven Rosenthal's testimony before the House Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures of the Committee on Ways and Means on the Discussion Draft’s proposals to reform the tax rules for derivatives and securities investments.
Costs of the Death Penalty (Testimony)
|Publication Date: March 20, 2013|
John Roman's testimony before the Judiciary Committee of the State of Delaware Senate on the cost to a state of having the death penalty.
The Implications of the Affordable Care Act for Employers (Testimony)
|Publication Date: March 20, 2013|
This Congressional testimony draws on analyses of the ACA done by Linda Blumberg and Urban Institute colleagues. Together, these analyses demonstrate that, contrary to concerns that the ACA will increase costs and reduce employer-sponsored coverage, the law will have a negligible impact on total employer-sponsored coverage and costs and makes small businesses—for whom coverage expands the most—financially better off. Nor is there any indication that the law will have significant negative implications for overall employment.
Expanded Poverty Measurement at the State and Local Level (Testimony)
|Publication Date: March 13, 2013|
Expanded state and local poverty measures have been developed by New York City, New York State, the Institute for Research on Poverty, and the Urban Institute. The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality and the Public Policy Institute of California are developing an expanded poverty measure for California. State and local expanded poverty measures have been used to provide new insights into poverty among population subgroups and regions of the state; estimate the extent to which government benefits, taxes, and work-related and medical expenses affect poverty; and estimate the effect of potential changes in government programs.
Addressing FHA's Financial Condition and Program Challenges Part II (Testimony)
|Publication Date: March 12, 2013|
In testimony before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Urban Institute President Sarah Rosen Wartell described the role that the Federal Housing Administration has played historically and during the most recent financial and housing market crises, explained the origin of losses expected from the FHA insurance portfolio, and suggested ways to avoid costs, such as more analytic capacity and additional tools and authorities to act nimbly to manage, price, and mitigate risk.
Social Impact Bonds (Testimony)
|Publication Date: February 28, 2013|
Social welfare problems in Maryland and elsewhere have remained intractable because their scale is beyond the ability of government to address alone, John Roman told the Appropriations Committee of the Maryland House of Delegates. Social impact bonds’ integration of private capital into traditionally public-sector activities is a promising mechanism for addressing these challenges. On March 6, 2013, this testimony was presented to the Maryland Senate Committee on Budget and Taxation regarding the Senate version of the social impact bond legislation.
Labor Force Participation, Taxes, and the Nation's Social Welfare System (Testimony)
|Publication Date: February 26, 2013|
Gene Steuerle testifies before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on labor force participation, taxes, and the social welfare system. Although there is some disagreement over the extent to which the nation’s social welfare systems affect work efforts, there is almost no disagreement that they are designed in piecemeal fashion, leading to a variety of unfair, inefficient, and somewhat strange effects. Our modern economy requires modern approaches to social welfare and taxation. At a minimum, we need to begin approaching our wide assortment of programs, phase-outs of benefits, and tax rates in a more integrated fashion.
|Publication Date: February 14, 2013|