Health & Human Services

Why a government shutdown is complex for state and local governments

It will impact welfare, food stamps, housing and infrastructure, among other things. But planning for a shutdown is difficult for a myriad of reasons.

What if we had fully funded safety net programs?

With 100% participation rates in fully funded social services, poverty nationwide would decrease by nearly a third and 4.8 million kids would be lifted out of poverty, according to a new study from the Urban Institute.

The government has a controversial idea to track mental health crisis calls

The national 988 hotline may start pinpointing callers, a move opponents say could lead to forced intervention and violate caller trust.

7% of the United States Is a ‘Play Desert’

COMMENTARY | Many of the counties lacking access to play areas were clustered in the Southeast and Southwest, and were most common in rural and suburban areas throughout the country.

AGs Urge Action on Households' Invisible Plastic Waste

In a letter, 17 Democratic state attorneys general called on the federal government to address "microfibers," the tiny bits of plastic most clothing sheds in washing machines.

More Than 72,000 Lose Medicaid Coverage in Arkansas

Thousands of children lost coverage in the state's effort to update enrollment—a process taking place nationwide as states review the eligibility of millions of Medicaid enrollees following the public health emergency.

Three Ways States Can Strengthen Home Visiting

COMMENTARY | The approach can address the developmental effects of the pandemic on toddlers.

How States Are Evaluating Medicaid Eligibility for Millions

States have 14 months to reexamine the eligibility of the roughly 93 million people on Medicaid. The approaches and timelines for review vary widely state by state.

Schools Find Power in Numbers

Across the country, school districts are joining together to negotiate lower premiums for insurance, goods and services.

What Will Congress Do About SNAP Benefits?

Some want to see an increase in food stamps to account for rising food prices. Others want to tighten work requirements. A compromise is certain as the two sides work toward a must-pass farm bill.

Ohio Gov. DeWine Calls for Stricter Regulations on Railways after East Palestine Derailment

“We should know when we have trains carrying hazardous material that are going to the state of Ohio.”

EPA Announces $2B to Fight Forever Chemicals

The funds are part of a multiyear program to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances that contaminate drinking water.

States Scramble to Replace Ripped-Off SNAP Benefits

Food stamp cards don’t have the technological or consumer protections of credit and debit cards.

White House Launches New Push to Help States Remove Lead Pipes That Carry Drinking Water

Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin will be part of the Lead Service Replacement Accelerators program.

America’s Massive Gap Providing Mental Health Services

Counties are pushing Congress to help fix the problem, which is especially bad in rural communities. But whether lawmakers will do so as part of upcoming budget legislation is unclear.

States Struggle to Curb Fake Emotional Support Animals

"This is really being exploited by people who want pets in housing that doesn’t allow pets."

Doctors Prescribe Healthy Meals to Keep Patients Out of the Hospital

Some states will offer medically tailored meals to low-income residents with diabetes and other chronic diseases.

How the Supreme Court Could End Up Blocking a Key Path to Sue States

The court will hear arguments next month in an Indiana case that could decide whether people can take legal action against states and localities if they believe their rights are violated under safety net programs, like Medicaid. Advocates for the elderly, poor and people with disabilities say the stakes are enormous.

US is Becoming a ‘Developing Country’ on Global Rankings that Measure Democracy, Inequality

COMMENTARY | The United States came in 41st worldwide on the UN’s 2022 sustainable development index, down nine spots from last year.