Third and State Recap: Census Data on Health Insurance, Income Gaps Widening, Governor's Medicaid Plan, and More

Note: Third and State's In-Case-You-Missed-It Wrap Up is now published every two weeks.

Over the past two weeks, we blogged about the Governor's Medicaid plan, new U.S. Census data on health insurance coverage in Pennsylvania, new figures on growing income inequality in the U.S., what a fast-food worker raise really costs, how Pennsylvania's job growth is measuring up, and much more.


  • On health care, Sharon Ward blogged that U.S. Census data out this week show that Pennsylvania's health insurance coverage rates are still below pre-recession levels — a reminder that Pennsylvania needs an expansion of Medicaid now more than ever. Chris Lilienthal provided an initial take of Governor Corbett's "Healthy PA" Medicaid plan and set the record straight about the cost of the state's existing Medicaid program. He also shared a Philadelphia Inquirer editorial saying that Medicaid expansion in Pennsylvania cannot wait and must happen in 2014.
  • On income inequality, Stephen Herzenberg shared an analysis putting the latest figures on U.S. income in historical perspective and argued that a 35-year trend of "growing apart" cannot become the new normal. Chris Lilienthal shared a Philadelphia Daily News story highlighting new data showing a shocking rise in income inequality since 2009.
  • On wages, Steve Herzenberg cited analysis showing that increasing the wages of fast food workers to $15 per hour would likely add only about 20 cents to the $4 cost of a Big Mac.
  • On job growth, Mark Price blogged about how job growth in Pennsylvania has measured up in the economic recovery. Mark also took the state secretary of Labor and Industry to task for citing selective statistics in a letter to the Patriot-News to claim that the Pennsylvania economy is “strong.”
  • And on public benefits, Chris Lilienthal shared a letter to the editor explaining how public benefits encourage low-income people to go to work and keep at it.


  • The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center recently redesigned its web site with a new look and easier navigation so that you can find everything you need right at your fingertips.
  • Read the Keystone Research Center's new policy brief, Nickel and Dimed: The Falling Purchasing Power of the Tipped Minimum Wage, and a press release on it.
  • Read PBPC Director Sharon Ward's September 9 testimony before the Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee on the impact of state cuts to school funding and how best to address property tax reform.


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