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Social Welfare Policy at the Crossroads: Rethinking the Roles of Social Insurance, Tax Expenditures, Mandates, and Means-Testing

Social Welfare Policy at the Crossroads: Rethinking the Roles of Social Insurance, Tax Expenditures, Mandates, and Means-Testing

January 28, 1993 January 29, 1993
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Our nation is now engaged in fundamental debate about the future of social welfare policy. Political decision makers are debating ways to expand health insurance coverage. Women's groups and others are speaking out for better pension coverage and portable benefits. The elderly seek Medicare improvements and new long-term care insurance. Welfare reform is re-emerging as a legislative issue. At the same time, there are counterpressures to limit social welgare entitlements, such as Social Security and Medicare, and to restructure existing programs. How such diverse agendas can be reconciled is unclear, but the outcomes will affect us all.

This conference took a comprehensive look at the American social welfare system with a fresh examination of fundamental issued about fairness and effectiveness. Sessions explored the roles, burdens, and benefits of tax expenditures, mandates, means-tested programs, and social insurance. Presentations focused on equity measures, the special problems of small business and the role of alternative policy tools for providing adequate and affordable retirement income and health care for Americans. By juxtaposing the policy debate about retirement income and health policy, the conference offered new insights about the role of each policy tool in ensuring adequate and affordable retirement income and health care for all Americans. Conferees discussed key issues influencing the use of these social policy tools by the new Congress and Administration.

Conference Co-Chairs:

Lynn M. Etheredge
Independant Consultant

Bruce C. Vladeck
United Hospital Fund

A book of published proceedings, Social Welfare Policy at the Crossroads: Rethinking the Roles of Social Insurance, Tax Expenditures, Mandates and Means-Testing, edited by Robert B. Friedland, Lynn M. Etheredge, and Bruce C. Vladek, is available.