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Monday, March 24, 2014

Honoring Bob Ball on his 100th birthday

Tom Bethell, National Academy of Social Insurance

Robert M. Ball had every intention of living to 100, and he almost made it. Born on March 28, 1914, he was just two months shy of his 93rd birthday when he died in 2008. Until the very end he worked ceaselessly to promote the evolution of social insurance and to protect the programs he had administered and championed — notably Social Security and Medicare — against every attempt to weaken them. His name may have been unfamiliar to most of the Americans whose security he made his life’s work, but, as Senator Edward M. Kennedy said of him: “Few if any in the long history of our country have done so much for so many for so long.”

Bob Ball devoted his entire adult life to public service, which he saw as a high calling. Now, as we mark his centennial on March 28, how would he most want to be remembered?

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Posted on March 24, 2014  |  5 comments  |  Add your comment
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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Social Policy Call to Arms at NASI's Conference

Andrea Louise Campbell, 2014 Conference Co-Chair, MIT

As a co-chair of this year’s NASI policy research conference, I was gratified by the excellent turnout, the fascinating presentations, and the thoughtful discussions. I was most inspired, however, by three speakers, who, through their very different personal styles, issued a social- policy call to arms.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Thought for Thanksgiving: Thanks for Social Insurance

Jasmine V. Tucker, National Academy of Social Insurance

In September, the Census Bureau released the official poverty figures for 2012, which showed that 46.4 million Americans (15%) lived in poverty last year. Three vitally important social insurance programs, Social Security, unemployment insurance (UI), and workers' compensation, and a related program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), kept the poverty rate from being much higher. Last year, these four programs worked together to keep nearly 26 million Americans above the federal poverty level, which was roughly $12,000 for a non-elderly adult living alone and $23,300 for two non-elderly adults and two children.

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Time to Get Moving on a White House Conference on Aging

Anne Montgomery, National Academy of Social Insurance and the Altarum Institute

There’s a reason why the nation has convened a White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) once a decade, and it’s this:  Historically, these seminal events – which involve thousands of people feeding in ideas from communities across the country – have spurred creative consensus at a national level about how apparently intractable current challenges can be practically approached, even as strategies for making promising opportunities a reality over time are also mapped out.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Educating Americans on How to Save for Retirement

James Chan

Before attending the National Academy of Social Insurance's 25th annual policy conference, Medicare and Social Security in a Time of Budget Austerity, I had very little knowledge of the details of the Social Security system. Throughout the conference, I couldn't help but think that the U.S. education system failed me by not preparing me for how to save for retirement.

Two presentations struck me at in particular:

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