Saturday Stats: Health, jobs and taxes
Posted December 01, 2018 in eNews
10 percent: The number of Ohio neighborhoods in areas where 40 percent or more of residents lived below the federal poverty line in 2016. That’s double the number in 2000. This is part of the reason too many Ohioans suffer from poor health, according to new analysis from Amanda Woodrum. People who live in poverty also tend to live in communities that are exposed to more pollution and lack access to healthy food. Amanda also shows how poverty is stressful, and over time, chronic stress can become toxic.
2.6 times: Due to longstanding structural racism, Black Ohioans are 2.6 times more likely to live in poverty than white Ohioans. The day to day racism they experience, coupled with the effects of poverty, contribute to higher rates of cancer and heart disease.
47: The 2018 Commonwealth Scorecard on State Health System Performance ranked Ohio 47th in the nation for how poorly the health of our lower-income residents compares to that of our higher-income residents. Take heart! Amanda’s report shows that there are solutions. We can change course by investing in education and opportunity for young people; promoting income security for Ohio families by increasing the minimum wage and access to public benefit programs; and targeting state investments in areas of concentrated poverty.
54,000: Ohio awaits permission from the federal government to approve new rules that would make it harder to access Medicaid expansion. Meanwhile, Wendy Patton and Amanda showed how the health care program bolsters Ohio’s economy. They found that in 2019 the state will have almost 54,000 more full- and part-time jobs than it would have if the state had not expanded Medicaid.
1 in 4: Nearly 1 in 4 of Ohio’s private sector jobs are in health care – and they tend to be better paying than in other sectors. The Akron Beacon Journal points out that six of the state’s 10 largest job categories pay so little that workers qualify for Medicaid.
$3 billion: The amount Medicaid expansion will boost Ohio’s gross domestic product next year. Medicaid expansion will increase earnings in the health care sector by $1.1 billion, in the construction industry by $182 million and in the retail industry by $123 million.
1,400: The number of jobs GM will cut when the automaker shuts down its Lordstown plant in 2019. Across the United States and Canada, 14,700 people will lose their jobs due to the company’s “restructuring.” It’s an especially cruel blow to Ohio families, said Zach Schiller, given that not many years ago, taxpayers kept GM in business.
$2.5 billion: Meanwhile, GM made $2.5 billion in this year’s third quarter alone.
2: The number of Hannah Halbert’s eyes that rolled when lobbyists for corporate franchise owners testified in favor of a bill that would put workers and small businesses owners at risk. HB 494 would shield corporate owners from responsibility when their franchisees violate labor laws, even if it’s at the corporate owner’s behest. Hannah testified against the bill before the Ohio Senate Transportation, Commerce, and Workforce Development Committee.
52: The number of citizen initiative petitions on the Ohio ballot between 1913 and 2015, only 17 of which passed. The Ohio Constitution declares, “all political power is inherent to the people,” yet state legislators want to curtail our right to put an amendment on the ballot. That’s just one of the extreme proposals being put forth during the lame duck legislative session, as Hannah points out.
$13 trillion: The amount of consumer debt – including mortgages, student loans and auto loans – held last year, an all-time high. Many people turn to debt settlement companies for help, but afterwards, often find themselves in even worse shape. Now the debt settlement industry is trying to get Ohio lawmakers to loosen regulations and make it easier for them to bilk struggling consumers, Kalitha Williams wrote in the Columbus Dispatch.
36-42 percent: That’s the rate of college students who struggle to afford regular meals. As Victoria Jackson pointed out in Cleveland.com, low-income college students face higher barriers to graduation than their higher-income peers. An equitable free college program would help more Ohio students complete their degrees and help the state reach its college degree attainment goal of 65 percent by 2025.
$1.1 billion a year: That’s how much revenue Ohio loses each year due to the small business income tax deduction – or LLC loophole. In an editorial, the Columbus Dispatch urged state legislators to fix the loopholes within the loophole that allow the well-to-do to claim additional exemptions meant for people with much lower incomes. We estimate it’s costing us about $4.9 million a year.
25: It’s the 25 year anniversary of the State Priorities Partnership! We’re proud to belong to this network of 40 state-level organizations fighting to make sure everyone has access to the basics and the opportunity to get ahead. Policy Matters staff and Ohio partners descended upon Washington D.C. this week to join many of our SPP partners for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Impact conference. That’s where we sharpen our skills, learn about new strategies to bring back to Ohio and share our successes. Kalitha presented about our consumer protection work.