Research & Kids Count Director
Nancy Wagman is the Research & Kids Count Director at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, supporting MassBudget’s research and overseeing MassBudget’s role as a Kids Count organization. Her own research focus is on children’s issues, health care, and federal funding in the state budget.
Prior to joining MassBudget, Nancy held several positions in the Massachusetts Senate Post Audit and Oversight Bureau; she was also a policy and program analyst at the state Department of Public Health; she was a WIC program director in a community health center; she was the planner and advocacy coordinator at a large community-based human services agency; and has been a special education advocate.
Nancy holds a B.A. from Oberlin College and an M.C.P. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Children in Massachusetts are better off as a whole than children nationally. And thanks to more than a decade’s worth of health reform in Massachusetts, children here are far more likely to have health insurance than children almost anywhere else in the U.S. Even so, close to one in seven children in Massachusetts lives in poverty, and is at risk for a wide variety of lifelong challenges.
Massachusetts is the national leader in providing health insurance coverage to its residents, thanks to health reform measures adopted a decade ago. The state’s health insurance coverage rate in 2015 was 97 percent, up about half a point from 2014. The gap between Massachusetts’ “nearly-universal” health care coverage and fully “universal” health care coverage gets smaller every year.
This brief describes a number of solutions that would improve the effectiveness of the direct certification system and its ability to accurately identify low-income students.