Author Archives: afscme

CEO pay remains high relative to the pay of typical workers and high-wage earners

Source: Lawrence Mishel and Jessica Schieder, Economic Policy Institute, July 20, 2017

From the summary:
What this report finds: This report looks at trends in CEO compensation using two measures of compensation. The first measure includes stock options realized (in addition to salary, bonuses, restricted stock grants, and long-term incentive payouts). By this measure, in 2016 CEOs in America’s largest firms made an average of $15.6 million in compensation, or 271 times the annual average pay of the typical worker. While the 2016 CEO-to-worker compensation ratio of 271-to-1 is down from 299-to-1 in 2014 and 286-to-1 in 2015, it is still light years beyond the 20-to-1 ratio in 1965 and the 59-to-1 ratio in 1989. The average CEO in a large firm now earns 5.33 times the annual earnings of the average very-high-wage earner (earner in the top 0.1 percent).

Because the decision to realize, or cash in, stock options tends to fluctuate with current and potential stock market trends (since people tend to cash in their stock options when it’s most advantageous for them to do so), we also look at another measure of CEO compensation to get a more complete picture of trends in CEO compensation. This measure tracks the value of stock options granted, reflecting the value of the options at the time they are granted. By this measure, CEO compensation rose to $13.0 million in 2016, up from $12.5 million in 2015.

By either measure CEO compensation is very high relative to the compensation of a typical worker or even that of an earner in the top 0.1 percent, and it has grown far faster than stock prices or corporate profits. The explanation for the falloff in CEO compensation associated with realized stock options is unclear: neither stock prices nor an accumulation of unexercised options provide an explanation. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues….
Related:
Press release

Nearly 17 Cents of Each State Revenue Dollar Goes to Medicaid

Source: Matt McKillop and Jessica Carges, Pew Charitable Trusts, States’ Fiscal Health, July 14, 2017

The share of states’ own money spent on Medicaid health care coverage for low-income Americans fell slightly in the second year of the program’s expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), even as enrollment grew. Still, a post-recession spike in states’ costs persisted. In fiscal year 2015, Medicaid consumed 16.7 cents of each state-generated dollar—4.5 cents more per dollar than in fiscal 2000.
Although every state spent more on Medicaid than in 2000, the effect on their finances has varied after factoring in how much revenue each took in. In 2015, only two states—New York and North Dakota—spent a smaller slice of their own dollars on Medicaid than in 2000, while 10 states spent their largest percentage of any year since 2000.
Related:
Map: 48 States Spent More of Their Own Funds on Medicaid (PDF)
Chart: Medicaid Spending, 2015 (PDF)

Improving Work Law Enforcement in States: California’s Private Attorneys General Act

Source: Charlotte Garden, OnLabor blog, July 19, 2017

To the extent there was ever doubt on this point, it is now clear that the Trump Administration will not prioritize robust enforcement of employment law mandates. One key example: the Department of Justice’s decision not to support the NLRB’s individual arbitration rule before the Supreme Court. (The NLRB will represent itself before the Supreme Court, and DOJ will likely participate as amicus in support of the employer.) This rule – which OnLabor has covered extensively – protects employees’ ability to aggregate claims, including claims that would be too small to pursue on an individual basis. But given the uncertain fate of the NLRB’s individual arbitration rule, is there anything that states can do to improve enforcement of workers’ rights? This post explores one state innovation: California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA)….

The Health Care Job Engine: Where Do They Come From and What Do They Say About Our Future?

Source: Bianca K. Frogner, Medical Care Research and Review, OnlineFirst, First Published January 19, 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Health care has been cited as a job engine for the U.S. economy. This study used the Current Population Survey to examine the sector and occupation shifts that underlie this growth trend. Health care has had a cyclical relationship with retail trade, leisure and hospitality, education, and professional services. The entering workforce has been increasingly taking on low-skilled occupations. The exiting workforce has not been necessarily retiring or going back to school, but appeared to be leaving without a job, with potentially more child care duties, and with high rates of disability and poverty levels. This study also found that the number of workers staying in health care has been slowly declining over time. As the United States moves toward team-based care, more attention should be paid to the needs of the lower skilled workers to reduce turnover and ensure delivery of quality care.

Mental Disorders Among Criminal Offenders: A Review of the Literature

Source: Emily D. Gottfried, Sheresa C. Christopher, Journal of Correctional Health Care, Vol. 23 Issue 3, July 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
This article examines mental illness among adult, juvenile, male, female, jail, and prison inmates. It also explores the way in which mental health diagnoses impact offending and violent behavior. A review of literature pertaining to differences between the genders and age of offenders suggests that psychiatric disorders are more common among criminal offenders than the population at large. Furthermore, it appears that many mentally ill offenders do not receive sufficient treatment during their incarcerations and that barriers inherent to incarceration prevent adequate treatment of mental illnesses.

Early Childhood Homelessness in the United States: 50-State Profile

Source: Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF), June 2017

….This 2017 release of the 50-state profile project provides a snapshot of early childhood data available for children who are experiencing homelessness in each state, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. It includes publicly available data for the year 2014-2015 from the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation and reports the following by state:
● Total population under age 6 in 2015
● Estimated number of children under age 6 experiencing homelessness in 2014-15
● Estimated percent of children under age 6 experiencing homelessness in 2014-15
● Estimated extent of homelessness (e.g. one in [X] children under age 6 experienced homelessness in 2014
-15)
● Estimated enrollment of children under age 6 in federally-funded early childhood programs for which data were available in 2014-2015 including Head Start and Local Education Agencies receiving McKinney-Vento subgrants in 2014-2015. Data were not available in 2014-2015 for the Child Care and Development Fund (subsidized child care) and the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (evidence-based home visiting).

The 2017 release also includes two new related factors indicators; the percentage of families experiencing a high housing cost burden and the percentage of low-income working families with young children under age 6. These factors we included because of their relationship to homelessness and to spark dialogue about addressing homelessness for children under age 6. This data will also be available in future years…..

The Effects of Chains on the Measurement of Competition in the Nursing Home Industry

Source: Richard A. Hirth, Qing Zheng, David C. Grabowski, David G. Stevenson, Orna Intrator, Jane Banaszak-Holl, Medical Care Research and Review, OnlineFirst, First Published April 7, 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Consistently accounting for more than 50% of the nursing homes in the United States, corporate chains have played an important role in the industry for several decades. However, few studies have explicitly considered the role of chains in measuring competition in nursing home markets. In this study, we use a newly developed database tracking common ownership over a period of nearly two decades to compare chain-adjusted and unadjusted measures of competition at the county and 25 km fixed-radius levels and explore how the differences would affect the assessment of local market structure. On average, the chain-adjusted Herfindahl–Hirschman Indexes (HHIs) are about 0.02 higher than the unadjusted HHIs. Each year, about 20% to 22% of the counties would appear more concentrated when recalculating HHIs accounting for common ownership. Evidence suggests that nursing home chains tend to focus more on expanding access to new markets within a state than to increasing market power within a smaller local market.

Lessons Learned From the Affordable Care Act: The Premium Subsidy Design May Promote Adverse Selection

Source: Ilana Graetz, Caitlin N. McKillop, Cameron M. Kaplan, Teresa M. Waters, Medical Care Research and Review, OnlineFirst, First Published May 4, 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Since 2014, average premiums for health plans available in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces have increased. We examine how premium price changes affected the amount consumers pay after subsidies for the lowest-cost bronze and silver plans available by age in the federally facilitated exchanges. Between 2015 and 2016, benchmark plan premiums increased in 83.3% of counties. Overall, rising benchmark premiums were associated with lower average after-subsidy premiums for the lowest-cost bronze and silver plans for older subsidy-eligible adults, but with higher after-subsidy premiums for younger adults purchasing the same plans, regardless of income. With recent discussions to replace or overhaul the Affordable Care Act, it is critical that we learn from the successes and failures of the current policy. Our findings suggest that the subsidy design, which makes rising premiums costlier for younger adults looking to purchase an entry-level plan, may be contributing to adverse selection and instability in the marketplace.