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Thursday, March 28, 2013

We Are a Rich Country: The False Dichotomy of Caring for the Old Versus Burdening the Young

Hannah Weinberger-Divack

Many characterize the debate over the future of social insurance as a clash between the old and the young or the brown and the gray.  Such divisions are short-sighted, however, because the debate over Social Security and Medicare is really a conversation about collective future.  NASI’s 25th annual policy research conference captured the essence of the ongoing struggle for change.  The opening and closing keynotes of the conference clearly captured the dilemma Americans face: we agree that it is time for action, but what action?

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Immigration: A Solution for Social Security Insolvency?

Madhulika Vulimiri

“As a result of globalization, labor markets are no longer defined by our borders.” When Lisa Lynch of the Heller School of Social Policy and Management made this statement in the opening keynote of the National Academy of Social Insurance’s 25thannual policy conference,  Medicare and Social Security in a Time of Budget Austerity, she was alluding to the increasing role that immigration plays both in our workforce and in our shifting policies around education, healthcare, and Social Security. I was interested to see what the distinguished speakers would say about the politically-charged role of immigration on Social Security, particularly in a time of budget austerity.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Social Security: The Choice is Ours

Christina Trusty

After leaving the NASI’s 25thannual conference, Medicare and Social Security in a Time of Budget Austerity, I came home to many who were eager to hear of my experience – and I had a lot to share. My family members are not exactly thrilled about my newfound interest in their retirement accounts, Social Security beneficiary status, and their knowledge of the Medicare program’s structure. Despite the whirlwind that was my return home, I noticed one constant in my conversations with peers about my newly acquired knowledge of Social Security.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Affordable Health Care Made Today For Tomorrow: Integrated Primary Care

Geoffrey M. Orokos

Like anyone who owns a computer, tablet or smart phone, I am frequently reminded during the budget and sequester discussions that the muscle driving our social insurance programs – our nation’s economic prosperity – is fatigued. With our budget deficit forecasted in 2013 at $845 billion, total debt more than $16.1 trillion, poverty at 15.1 percent and total health care spending near 18 percent GDP – many agree that cause for concern is warranted.

As a mental health case coordinator living and working in New York State’s poorest city-per-capita – I find these talks and statistics particularly unnerving – as one in three Americans receiving Medicare today receive treatment for a cognitive or mental impairment. On my own caseload, more than half of my clients are Medicare recipients.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Delaying Retirement: Should Average Life Expectancy Determine Retirement Age?

Tatsuko Go Hollo

These days many Americans, whether political or not, are tuned into discussions about social insurance programs. Retirees and younger generations, alike, are questioning whether Social Security benefits will be ample enough to carry them through their retirement years. Despite solvency for the next two decades, a number of options are being explored to ensure Social Security benefits are available for generations to come. Potential solutions range from those that cut benefits for the long-term to those that increase federal revenues to maintain or boost retiree benefits. A consideration that regularly discussed is the full retirement age and how it relates to the average life expectancy of Americans.

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