Resource Library

COVID-19 Update: The John T. Gorman Foundation is curating a list of resources, emerging best practices, and innovative ideas from across the country to help local organizations serve vulnerable Mainers during the coronavirus outbreak. To access those resources, visit www.jtgfoundation.org/resources/covid-19 or enter Covid-19 in the keyword search. Those results can be further focused by using the “Filter by” menu above to filter by population type (Young Children, Older Youth, Families, and Seniors) or by clicking the following links: childcare, education, food security, housing, rural areas, and workforce.

The John T. Gorman Foundation strives to be data-driven and results based and seeks to promote information and ideas that advance greater understanding of issues related to our mission and priorities. In our effort to promote these values, we offer these research and best practice resources collected from reputable sources across the country. The library also includes briefs and reports the Foundation has commissioned or supported, a listing of which can be found here.

 

Swelling Medicaid enrollment strains state budgets

June 16, 2020 – Families

A new article from Pew Trusts describes the pressure that rising Medicaid enrollment, in response to sweeping job losses, is placing on state budgets. This swell in enrollment is happening while state budgets are already under tremendous pressure from the pandemic. New research shows that Medicaid enrollment has risen through May but lagging data availability mean the pandemic’s full effects are still unknown. The share of Medicaid expenses paid by states varies and is largely linked to personal income levels within the state (range: 22% to 50%), with states paying much lower shares (10%) for beneficiaries eligible through Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Options include additional federal support (some has already been provided) or slashing reimbursement rates to Medicaid providers, which will further discourage providers from seeing Medicaid enrollees at a time of critical and expanding inequity in COVID-19 outcomes. #covid-19

Telehealth expansion in response to COVID-19 should be made permanent

June 16, 2020 – Families

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many temporary changes were made to federal and state policy to expand telehealth. The U.S. Senate health committee’s Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has proposed making some of these changes permanent. In particular, he supports permanently allowing physicians to be reimbursed for telehealth appointments conducted from the patient’s home or other locations. Alexander also supports expanding the number of telehealth services reimbursable by Medicare. #covid-19 #mentalhealth

Rural counties with highest rates of new infections have meatpacking plants, prisons, and non-white populations

June 15, 2020 – Families

A recent piece from the Daily Yonder examines the rate of new COVID-19 infections in rural counties throughout the nation. The rural county with the highest new-infections rate is Buena Vista County, Iowa where a Tyson food processing plant is the epicenter. The article includes the 46 rural counties that had new-infection rates of over 1,000 new infections per 100,000 residents (or 1 percent) in the last 30 days. Of these 46 counties, 20 have determined their high number of new cases is due to outbreaks at meatpacking plants and five considered state or federal prisons to be the epicenter. The remaining hard-hit counties either had large proportions of African American, Native American, or Hispanic residents. #covid-19 #rural #racialequity

Educators go to great lengths to follow up with students absent from remote learning

June 14, 2020 – Families

As schools moved online in response to the pandemic, some students went missing. Determined educators in Detroit, Michigan followed up with the families of students who had been absent from remote learning. If several phone calls were not returned, some teachers went directly to the student’s house to try to find them and make sure they were okay. Detroit has been hit hard by the coronavirus and many families had lost someone or needed extra support. One school kept a log of daily calls to families in a shared spreadsheet and made note of anyone who was sick or facing financial challenges. The school has been using the log to organize condolence cards, gift cards, and grief counseling for families. #education #covid-19

New Hampshire Governor announces program for renters as eviction moratorium lifts

June 12, 2020 – Families

Governor Chris Sununu announced that the eviction and foreclosure moratorium in New Hampshire will be lifted on July 1, 2020. Experts, such as the CEO of the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority have warned the Governor’s Office that rental delinquencies are currently between 10-20% and are expected to increase. In order to support housing security for vulnerable households, Governor Sununu announced a $35 million Housing Relief Program allocated from the federal CARES Act funding. The basic structure of the program is to provide one-time grants of up to $2,500 for housing expenses, including past-due rent, for those impacted by COVID-19. #covid-19

Health Care Hotlines in New York City support residents and relieve pressure on emergency health care

June 11, 2020 – Families

As described in a new article in Health Affairs, New York City protected its strained health care systems, by creating a complex health care hotline system to provide residents with important health screenings, resources, and in the case of serious symptoms, redirection to specialized health care staff. Callers can reach a “first-tier” provider (usually a registered nurse) by calling the NYC311 system or Health + Hospitals system, regardless of income, insurance, or immigration status. Callers with serious or complex symptoms can be directly transferred to a “second-tier” provider as deemed necessary, which includes physicians and specialized advanced practice providers. Later developments included support for symptom monitoring and automatic follow-up with patients as needed. As of June 11, the hotline has handled more than 90,000 calls, and just 10 percent of those callers were directed to the emergency department, potentially relieving pressure on NYC’s burdened emergency systems. #covid-19

State outreach needed to inform non-filers eligible for stimulus payments

June 11, 2020 – Families

Researchers at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimate that 12 million folks who did not file tax returns for 2018 or 2019 are still eligible for CARES Act stimulus payments—although they might not know it. These people were not required to file federal tax returns due to their very low income and nonparticipation in specified federal programs. Those who did file tax returns for either 2018 or 2019 are receiving automatic payments, but these 12 million eligible non-filers must submit their information to the IRS before October 15, 2020 in order to receive their stimulus payment. States and cities will need aggressive outreach to make sure these individuals both know they are eligible and how to complete the IRS requirements in time. #covid-19

Rural utility cooperatives effective in supporting broadband access

June 9, 2020 – Families

The Daily Yonder reports on a study by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance that examined the role that locally owned utility cooperatives can play in supporting broadband access in rural places. Currently, co-ops are already responsible for 42% of maintained electric distribution lines. They also note that while larger internet service providers often overlook rural places, local co-ops are well equipped to provide internet access. Authors list possible public policy actions, such as expanding existing co-ops rather than creating new ones, that some states like North Carolina have already implemented successfully. #covid-19 #rural

Brookings describes gaps in unemployment statistics

June 8, 2020 – Families

A new post from Brookings details how the official unemployment measure is undercounting unemployment during the pandemic. The author notes that 9 million more people received unemployment insurance benefits (almost 30 million Americans) than the number of those estimated to be unemployed by the official unemployment rate (about 21 million). This discrepancy is in part driven by the Payroll Protection Program, which allows employers to pay workers even if not still actually working, and in part by not counting as unemployed workers on furlough who expect to return to their jobs (although many may never). Finally, removing those who are unable to work for family reasons (like caring for children) from the estimated labor force counts can also drive rates downward. #covid-19 #workforce

Kentucky Governor pledges to provide free health insurance for all black Kentuckians

June 8, 2020 – Families

Although the exact details of the plan have not been finalized, Kentucky’s Governor Andy Beshear has pledged to provide free health insurance to all black or African American Kentuckians who need it. As of 2018, about 20,000— or 5.8 percent—of Black Kentucky residents were uninsured. Beshear has also promised to increase training for policy officers. These actions are motivated by both the pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted black families, as well as protests against police violence in the wake of Breonna Taylor’s fatal shooting by police in Louisville, Kentucky. #covid-19 #racialequity

Unorthodox donations created a COVID-19 testing site in Kentucky

June 8, 2020 – Families

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, many organizations outside of the usual public health actors have stepped up to help. One unusual example comes from Paducah, Kentucky, where the Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) provided a weigh-in trailer to be used as part of a new mobile COVID-19 testing site in a church parking lot. #covid-19

AEI suggests concentrated job losses will increase poverty

June 5, 2020 – Families

A new post from American Enterprises Institute (AEI) summarizes results from recent household surveys on income losses in the pandemic. AEI finds that across surveys, lower-income households have been hit hardest. When paired with unemployment projections, AEI suggests that these losses are likely to be sustained, and poverty is likely to increase. #covid-19 #workforce