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America’s Benefits Cliff, Part 2

For decades, our public assistance programs have focused on helping low-income Americans find employment, slowly phasing out benefits as they get back on their feet. But today, some people lose benefits too soon and end up in a situation where…

The Medicaid Cliff Could be Steep for Millions. It Doesn’t Need to Be.

We will all be grateful when we can safely put the COVID-19 pandemic behind us. But, behind the sigh of relief many of us will feel, there will be millions of Americans who stand to lose the healthcare coverage they…

America’s Benefits Cliff, Part 1

For decades, our public assistance programs have focused on helping low-income Americans find employment, slowly phasing out benefits as they get back on their feet. But today, some people lose benefits too soon and end up in a situation where…

Bloomberg report finds 9 million Americans did not have access to Unemployment Insurance due to massive, years-long backlogs

A recent estimate from Bloomberg Businessweek found that 9 million Americans lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic, and were unable to get Unemployment Insurance: “…at least 9 million Americans thrown out of work by the pandemic who…

ICYMI: The Atlantic highlights bureaucratic hurdles preventing Americans from accessing safety net programs

“The Time Tax.” That’s what Annie Lowery called the burdens that safety net programs like food stamps and unemployment benefits place on the most vulnerable Americans in her recent piece in The Atlantic. CAMI has frequently called out the inefficiencies…

ICYMI: 50 state workforce agencies call for Congress to Prevent Disruption of UI programs

Americans in need can’t wait. They need Congress to act! Following up on the release of its 2021 legislative priorities, the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) penned a letter to Congress this week calling urgently for the extension…

Raising the Contractor Minimum Wage: It’s Not as Simple as it Looks

Stan Soloway | Originally posted on Government Executive One of President Biden’s first actions following his inauguration was to issue an executive order requiring that the minimum wage paid by government contractors be at least $15 per hour. While it…

50 state workforce agencies support extending staff flexibility for UI

The National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA), which represents all 50 state workforce agencies, D.C. and U.S. territories, recently released its 2021 legislative priorities. Among the 2021 priorities is extending state staffing flexibility for the continued operation of Unemployment…

The Unemployment Insurance system is not working. Here’s how we fix it.

By: Former Congressman John Faso​, Senior Advisor to the Center for Accountability, Modernization, and Innovation (CAMI) The United States is getting back to normal. Restaurants are reopening, mask mandates for the fully vaccinated are falling by the wayside, and employers…

Time to Learn Our Lesson: The Opportunities from the COVID-19 Pandemic to Enable State and Local Governments to Work Better for the People they Serve

Stan Soloway | Originally posted on the American Public Human Services Association Americans are finally starting to see there may be a light at the end of the tunnel after a long year of grappling with the impact of the…

Unpacking the American Rescue Plan, Part 2

How do you get free school meals to students who are now learning at home? Should we enable community leaders to take a leading role in public assistance programs? Are there ways we can modernize resources and streamline processes to…

Unpacking the American Rescue Plan, Part 1

Recently, people across the country have been focused on one thing – The American Rescue Plan. The latest episode of our podcast dives into this enormous new stimulus bill and relief package and how we can ensure program benefits actually…

Congress must extend state authority to use contractors to administer unemployment benefits

Congress passes many laws; but the law enacted most often is the “law of unintended consequences.” In just one example: unemployment insurance legislation in the COVID relief package that is currently making its way through Congress through the process of…

Using Innovation to Improve Public Services

Why do we make poor people work so hard to prove they are poor? Why is it so hard for a nursing home employee who works with the elderly every day to get a coronavirus vaccine? Is the government providing…

Morning Consult: SNAP Deployment Is a Priority for the Biden Administration, but USDA Needs Reforms for It to Work

By John Faso & Russell Sykes | Originally published in Morning Consult The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed large gaps in America’s social safety net. President Joe Biden has focused on speeding up vaccine delivery to the states and has ordered…

NBC News Special Report: Americans are still struggling with food insecurity. Congress must act now.

Americans are struggling to get help. But it doesn’t need to be this way As part of its series of reports on the hunger crisis and growing food insecurity in America, NBC News on February 2, 2021 highlighted some of…

Food Banks Feeling the Strain of COVID-19 Pandemic as Food Insecurity Rises

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn have been felt in every state across the country. While unemployment benefits and stimulus checks are being vigorously debated in Washington, D.C., the nation’s food security challenges continue to worsen as…

Vaccine Distribution Supply Chain Demonstrates Continued Need for Government Innovation

After a year of trials and tribulations as Americans have grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic,  the development and approval of vaccines have provided fresh confidence and represent the first step in returning back to “normal.” We now have two vaccines…

Food Banks and CAMI Agree that States Need Flexibility for SNAP Administration As SNAP Caseloads are Already Rising Rapidly

Food banks from coast to coast have written to CAMI stressing the need for common-sense flexibility for states to administer their food stamp programs in light of the COVID-19 pandemic: KAC (Wisconsin), Sister Carmen Community Center (Colorado), New York Common…

Breaking Down Barriers to Public Services

As we continue responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s imperative that we break down barriers to public services for the people who need them most. In the second episode of our new podcast, People First: Improving Government Services to the…

Washington Post: A Growing Number of Americans are Going Hungry

26 million now say they don’t have enough to eat, as the pandemic worsens and holidays near.

Covid: A Public-Assistance Reform Opening

During the current pandemic, some three dozen states have taken advantage of program flexibilities authorized as part of the national pandemic relief.

Stan Dorn on the Readiness of Public Assistance Programs to Handle a Pandemic

Are you curious about how COVID-19 is impacting government assistance programs like SNAP and Medicaid? Do you think these programs would work better if they were updated and utilized new approaches to handle increased demand? In the inaugural episode of…

Real Clear Policy: ‘Operation Warp Speed’ is the Key to Beating Covid & Restoring US Economy

By Former Congressman John Faso | There is encouraging news on the development of vaccines to beat the coronavirus. No fewer than four vaccine candidates are in advanced clinical trials. Major pharmaceutical companies such as Astra Zeneca and Moderna are…

Families USA: Modernizing Public Benefit Eligibility During the Coronavirus Pandemic

COVID-19 has fundamentally altered American life and exposed longstanding deficiencies in our public benefit systems. As part of our partnership with Families USA and the National Center for Coverage Innovation, CAMI supported an in-depth analysis of how we can achieve…

Help for hunger here at home

Congressman John Faso | NY Daily News The Daily News’ front page this week said it all: “Hunger Pains,” describing how city food pantries were preparing for a potential second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The same story is being told…

AEI: A conversation with Russell Sykes, former New York State Deputy Commissioner, on SNAP administrative challenges

By Angela Rachidi American Enterprise Institute Human service agencies across the country are grappling with increased demand for their services. At the same time, these agencies are trying to adapt their business models to reduce COVID-19 transmission. Recently, I spoke…

COVID-19 and the Urgent Need to Modernize America’s Benefit Programs

From its inception, CAMI has advocated for smart, innovative, accountable and modern solutions to improve government programs and benefits. The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting increased demand for government services has only further demonstrated the need for a new approach.…

CAMI on COVID-19: Addressing the Challenge of Food Insecurity

The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant health and financial insecurity for millions of Americans. The incredible economic stress, coupled with anxiety around the health and safety of our friends and family, has made it difficult for families to cope. Chief…

Hungry Children Can’t Wait for Government ‘Innovation’

Stan Soloway | Government Executive In the midst of a crisis, USDA policies make it nearly impossible for states to deal with the surging need for food assistance. Two months ago, I wrote in this space about the current pandemic’s…

School Children Who Rely On Free/Reduced Meals Need Our Support

By Former Rep. John Faso and Stan Soloway America’s Poor School Children Need a Replacement for School Meals: New pandemic benefits are only as good as states’ ability to deliver them. And when it comes to food security, enormous gaps…

Now Is The Time to Reform Government, Not Swell Its Payrolls

John Faso | RealClear Policy Public health authorities have said that an essential part of the effort to contain coronavirus outbreaks is to institute a system of contact tracing across the nation. The Centers for Disease Control and others recommend…

Comment to CMS on the proposed rule to modernize the requirements for Preadmission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR)

Dear Administrator Verma: The Center for Accountability, Modernization, and Innovation (CAMI) is a nonprofit organization that promotes innovative solutions to public policy challenges. CAMI is pleased to submit comments on the “Medicaid Program; Preadmission Screening and Resident Review” proposed rule…

CAMI on COVID-19: What States are Doing

We live in unprecedented times. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States earlier this year, more than 60,000 people have died from the virus, almost 30 million have filed unemployment claims just over the last six weeks, and the country as a whole is attempting to learn how to carry ...

GovExec Daily: Removing Barriers to Innovation in COVID-19 Legislation

Stan Soloway joined the podcast to explain how the pandemic is an opportunity for legislation modernizing some aspects of government. The coronavirus crisis has upended American life, with the federal government and state governments responding with various levels of efficacy.…

The Pandemic Is a Clarion Call to Remove Barriers to Innovation

The COVID-19 crisis presents an opportunity to put in place solutions that will benefit us all, now and in the future. Across the spectrum of relief and stimulus initiatives, many of them federally funded and state administered, antiquated technology and…

There’s a Playbook for Implementing the CARES Act; Agencies Need to Follow It

We are going to see billions of dollars in new contract spending for both surge and ongoing requirements. Some 15 years ago, the Professional Services Council and the Army Materiel Command teamed up on a joint “lessons learned” exercise focused…

Letter to USDA on the OPM Clarification that state contractors are permitted to support state governments in the administration of federally-funded entitlement program

Dear Secretary Perdue: The Center for Accountability, Modernization, and Innovation (CAMI) is a nonprofit organization that was created to promote innovative solutions to public policy challenges. As the entire nation is grappling with the significant challenges associated with the novel…

Letter to HHS on the OPM Clarification that state contractors are permitted to support state governments in the administration of federally-funded entitlement program

Dear Secretary Azar: The Center for Accountability, Modernization, and Innovation (CAMI) is a nonprofit organization that was created to promote innovative solutions to public policy challenges. As the entire nation is grappling with the significant challenges associated with the novel…

Letter to DOL on the OPM Clarification that state contractors are permitted to support state governments in the administration of federally-funded entitlement program

Dear Secretary Scalia: The Center for Accountability, Modernization, and Innovation (CAMI) is a nonprofit organization that was created to promote innovative solutions to public policy challenges. As the entire nation is grappling with the significant challenges associated with the novel…

Comments to CMS on the proposed “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2021; Notice Requirement for Non-Federal Governmental Plans.”

Dear Administrator Verma: The Center for Accountability, Modernization, and Innovation (CAMI) is a nonprofit organization that promotes innovative solutions to public policy challenges. The Center is pleased to submit comments on the proposed “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; HHS…

Comments to SSA on the proposed “Rules Regarding the Frequency and Notice of Continuing Disability Reviews”

Dear SSA Office of Retirement and Disability Policy: The Center for Accountability, Modernization, and Innovation (CAMI) is a nonprofit organization that promotes innovation solutions to public policy challenges. The Center is pleased to submit comments on the proposed “Rules Regarding…