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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Steve Goss, SSA's Chief Actuary, on the Death of Robert J. Myers

Stephen C. Goss

Robert "Bob" Myers was indeed the father of all actuaries who have worked on Social Insurance. As a junior actuary he was deeply involved in the development of the Social Security program even before its inception in 1935. As Chief Actuary at SSA he later did the development work and estimates for Medicare. Although contentious at times in the past, his relationship with Bob Ball reflected mutual respect and principles that now seem far closer together than they believed at the time. Bob was active, engaged, and advising to those who followed to the end. He is singularly responsible for the strength and principles now cherished and guarded at the office he formed. But he will be best remembered by many of us for his simple and modest disclaimer at the beginning of public comments for decades where he proclaimed himself "a lifelong student of Social Security."
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Posted on February 17, 2010  |  5 comments  |  Add your comment
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New PEW Survey Reinforces Findings of NASI Report on “Americans’ Views on Social Security”

Deric Joyner

According to a new PEW Research Center For the People and the Press survey report, “Public’s Priorities For 2010: Economy, Jobs, Terrorism,” Social Security ranks fourth in Americans’ top priorities for President Obama and the Congress for 2010, ranked just below the Economy, Jobs and Terrorism. The PEW poll shows that six-in-ten Americans (66%) say that securing the Social Security system should be a top priority. Near uniformity in opinion between Democrats, Republicans, and Independents — (Dem. 68) (Rep. 62) (Ind. 66) — on Social Security provides further context on Americans overall opinion on the subject.

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Posted on January 27, 2010  |  Write the first comment
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Friday, December 18, 2009

Health Care Should Be Driven by Mission, Not Money

Philip Caper
M.D., Codman Group (Founding Chairman)

As health care reform legislation enters a critical phase in Congress, it's important to keep our eye on the ball — elements essential to the success of any reform effort. In order to define those elements, we must have a clear understanding of the nature of the pathology in our dysfunctional health care system.

Modern high-tech health care is a right of the residents of most wealthy countries in the world - except the United States. America is exceptional in this regard. It is also exceptional in being the only wealthy nation where health care is considered to be a business.

To read the full article, click here.

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Posted on December 18, 2009  |  Write the first comment
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Friday, December 18, 2009

The Heart of Power: Health and Politics in the Oval Office

A Book Review by Philip Caper, M.D.

In many ways, the new book by David Blumenthal and James Morone is a fine dissertation on the role of the presidency and a succession of American presidents, stretching back to FDR, in the formulation of health care policy in the United States. But it does not address a central question. What are the barriers to reform of the American health-care system? Why has it been so difficult for American politicians to create a statutory right to health care for Americans - a right that every other affluent democracy created years ago?

To read a PDF of the full review, click here.

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Posted on December 18, 2009  |  Write the first comment
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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Can the Time Value of Money Save Long Term Care?

John Cutler
Senior Policy Analyst, United States Office of Personnel Management

Often left behind instead of going to the dance, long term care may finally see its opening in health care reform. Until now, few reform proposals bothered with long term care (LTC) in spite of the fact that a much greater share of the population is at risk compared with the scope of the “uninsured” for general health care. In addition, social insurance advocates and private insurance supporters often were in an uneasy alliance around how to approach any LTC reform, further hindering chances to address it. But with the reform of health care likely this year, LTC supporters have, for the most part, coalesced around Senator Kennedy’s CLASS Act as the most likely ticket to the dance.

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Posted on October 15, 2009  |  Write the first comment
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