The National Health Service Corps

The National Health Service Corps.  Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Elayne J. Heisler. March 9, 2018

 The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) provides scholarships and loan repayments to health care providers in exchange for a period of service in a health professional shortage area (HPSA). The program places clinicians at facilities—generally not-for-profit or government-operated— that might otherwise have difficulties recruiting and retaining providers.  The NHSC is administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Congress created the NHSC in the Emergency Health Personnel Act of 1970 (P.L. 91-623), and its programs have been reauthorized and amended several times since then.

 [PDF format, 19 pages].

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Adoption Tax Benefits: An Overview

Adoption Tax Benefits: An Overview. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Margot L. Crandall-Hollick. March 13, 2018

 The federal government supports adoption in two primary ways: federal grants to state governments and tax benefits for individual taxpayers that help offset the costs of adopting a child. This report focuses on federal adoption tax benefits, which consist of an adoption tax credit and an income tax exclusion for employer-provided adoption assistance. The adoption tax credit helps qualifying taxpayers offset some of the costs of adopting a child. Although the credit may be claimed for nearly all types of adoptions (excluding the adoption of a spouse’s child), there are some special rules related to claiming the credit for intercountry adoptions and for adoption of children with special needs (generally children whom the State child welfare agency considers difficult to place for adoption).

 [PDF format, 28 pages].

The State of the Humanities 2018: Graduates in the Workforce & Beyond

The State of the Humanities 2018: Graduates in the Workforce & Beyond.  American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 2018

 Discussions about the value of a college degree in the humanities have become something of a cottage industry of late. Opinions range from enthusiastic support of the long-term benefits of humanities degrees to resigned acceptance or acid humor regarding the ostensibly grim career outcomes of graduates from the field. As the number of students graduating with degrees in the humanities started to drop in recent years, these conversations appeared to take on increased urgency.

This report reflects the ongoing mission of the Humanities Indicators, a nationally recognized source of nonpartisan information on the state of the humanities. The Indicators website (www.HumanitiesIndicators.org) features 103 topics and includes more than 500 graphs and data tables detailing the state of the humanities. The project draws on data sources that meet the highest standards of social scientific rigor, relying heavily on the products of the U.S. federal statistical system. In producing this report, the Indicators staff also received crucial support from Louis Tay and Christopher Wiese (Purdue University), who provided special data runs from the Gallup-Purdue Index survey of college alumni. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 32 pages].

Safety Net Investments in Children

Safety Net Investments in Children. Brookings Institution. Hilary W. Hoynes and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach.  March 8, 2018

 In this paper, the authors examine what groups of children are served by core childhood social safety net programs—including Medicaid, EITC, CTC, SNAP, and AFDC/TANF—and how they have changed over time. They find that virtually all gains in spending on the social safety net for children since 1990 have gone to families with earnings, and to families with income above the poverty line. These trends are the result of welfare reform and the expansion of in-work tax credits. The authors review the available research and find that access to safety net programs during childhood improves outcomes for children and society over the long run. This evidence suggests that the recent changes to the social safety net may have lasting negative impacts on the poorest children. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 67 pages].

Child and Dependent Care Tax Benefits: How They Work and Who Receives Them

Child and Dependent Care Tax Benefits: How They Work and Who Receives Them.  Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Margot L. Crandall-Hollick. March 1, 2018

 Two tax provisions subsidize the child and dependent care expenses of working parents: the child and dependent care tax credit (CDCTC) and the exclusion for employer-sponsored child and dependent care. The child and dependent care tax credit is a nonrefundable tax credit that reduces a taxpayer’s federal income tax liability based on child and dependent care expenses incurred. The policy objective is to assist taxpayers who work or who are looking for work. A taxpayer must meet a variety of eligibility criteria including incurring qualifying child and dependent care expenses for a qualifying individual and have earned income.

 [PDF format, 21 pages].

Key Facts about U.S. Immigration Policies and Proposed Changes

Key Facts about U.S. Immigration Policies and Proposed Changes. Pew Research Center.  Jens Manuel Krogstad and Ana Gonzalez-Barrera. February 26, 2018

 Nearly 34 million lawful immigrants live in the United States. Many live and work in the country after receiving lawful permanent residence (also known as a green card), while others receive temporary visas available to students and workers. In addition, roughly 1 million unauthorized immigrants have temporary permission to live and work in the U.S. through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Temporary Protected Status programs.

For years, proposals have sought to shift the nation’s immigration system away from its current emphasis on family reunification and employment-based migration, and toward a points-based system that prioritizes the admission of immigrants with certain education and employment qualifications. These proposals have received renewed attention under the Trump administration. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Delayed Retirement and the Growth in Income Inequality at Older Ages

Delayed Retirement and the Growth in Income Inequality at Older Ages. Urban Institute. Richard W. Johnson. February 1, 2018

 As concerns about retirement savings have intensified, many older adults have begun working beyond traditional retirement age. By working longer, they can improve their retirement security by increasing their future monthly Social Security payments and shortening the time they must rely on their savings. But does delaying retirement deepen income inequality for older adults by leaving those with health problems behind? [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 35 pages].