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Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security

Joan Entmacher

Joan Entmacher is Vice President for Family Economic Security at the National Women's Law Center, where she leads a team working to improve policies important to the economic security of low-income women and their families, including tax and budget, child care, child support, unemployment insurance, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, and Social Security. Ms. Entmacher is a leading expert on issues affecting low-income women. She has been invited to testify before Congress on several occasions, written numerous analyses and reports on income support policies and their impact on poor women, and spoken frequently at conferences, briefings, and to the media. Prior to joining the National Women's Law Center, Ms. Entmacher served as Director of Legal and Public Policy at the National Partnership for Women & Families, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Wellesley College, Chief of the Civil Rights Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office, and attorney in the U.S. Department of Labor Solicitor's Office. Ms. Entmacher is a graduate of Yale Law School and Wellesley College.

My Take

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: 5 Key Developments in Budget & Tax Policy in 2014

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: December 17, 2014 at 09:32 am
  • The government didn’t shut down—although it came very close--and Congress agreed to fund most agencies through the end of Fiscal Year 2015. A few programs, including the Child Care and Development Block Grant, received modest increases.  But most domestic programs face freezes or cuts in FY 2015—on top of years of cuts in programs vital to women and their families—and even deeper cuts in FY 2016.
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Poverty Among Seniors is Dramatically Higher Under the Supplemental Poverty Measure

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: October 16, 2014 at 12:50 pm

For anyone who thinks that poverty among seniors is a thing of the past, the data released this morning by the U.S. Census Bureau should serve as a wake-up call.

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Whose Poverty Rate Increased Last Year? Older Women's

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: September 16, 2014 at 03:30 pm

As we reported, today’s poverty numbers show no improvement in the poverty rate for women overall. Hispanic women saw their poverty rate decline; African

 American women did not.  We haven’t finished crunching all the numbers.  But we know that at least one group of women saw an increase in poverty: women 65 and older.

The poverty rate for women 65 and older increased to 11.6 percent in 2013 from 11.0 in 2012, a statistically significant change. The poverty rate for men 65 and older in 2013 was 6.8 percent, statistically unchanged from 2012.  More than two-thirds (68.1 percent) of the elderly poor are women.

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Five Reasons to Celebrate Social Security's 79th Birthday

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: August 14, 2014 at 08:09 am

On August 14, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. As he said at the time, he was just laying the “cornerstone in a structure which is being built but is by no means complete.” Since then, generations of Americans have contributed to, strengthened, and improved our Social Security system—and for generations, it has protected workers and their families against the loss of income due to retirement, disability, or death. Through wars and recessions, Social Security insurance payments have been made on time and in full; last month, over 58 million Americans of all ages relied on Social Security.

Each of those 58 million people has a story to tell about what Social Security means to them and their families—but 58 million is too many reasons to list. So here are five reasons to celebrate today:

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Reversed: Supreme Court’s Harris Decision a Setback For Home Care Workers and Child Care Providers

Let’s cut to the chase: Today’s Supreme Court decision [PDF] in Harris v. Quinn is a setback for millions of women working in low-wage jobs. It limits the organizing rights of home care workers and child care providers--two overwhelmingly female and poorly paid groups of workers. Through unionization, these workers have secured better pay, training, and working conditions for themselves—and the seniors, people with disabilities, and children who rely on these workers have benefited from a more stable and qualified workforce. Today’s decision doesn’t mean these workers’ voices will be silenced, but it does mean we have our work cut out for us – and that begins now.

The case involved an Illinois state law that authorized home care workers paid by the Medicaid program to decide, by majority vote, whether to join a union. (There are more details on the Harris case in this earlier post.) These workers provide home health services to individuals needing care, ensuring that people with disabilities and the elderly are able to stay in their own homes and avoid institutionalization, when possible. The workforce is large, often isolated, and turnover is high; allowing workers to form a union to negotiate with the state gives them input into their working conditions.

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