2020 Discussion Archive

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Recognizing African-American Leaders

In honor of Black History Month, the National Academy of Social Insurance wishes to recognize African American public servants who have led the nation’s major federal social insurance programs, Social Security and Medicare, as well as the Department of Labor, which plays a role in state-based social insurance programs, Workers’ Compensation and Unemployment Insurance.

(In alphabetical order)

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Posted on February 19, 2020  |  Write the first comment
Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The importance of values-driven social insurance

William Arnone, CEO, National Academy of Social Insurance

The month of February typically connotes a “V”- phrase: Valentine’s Day. For me, another word comes to mind: values.

What are the underlying values that make social insurance resonate with most Americans? Is there a normative framework through which social insurance might be viewed?

Media coverage seldom focuses on the core principles that drive discussions of programs and proposals. Yet, such principles are critical to truly understanding the rationale for, and philosophy of, programs like Social Security, Medicare, Workers’ Compensation, and Unemployment Insurance. They are also fundamental to policy debates about these programs’ futures.

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Posted on February 19, 2020  |  1 comment  |  Add your comment
Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Paid Family Leave and Designing Social Insurance Options

In last evening’s State of the Union speech, President Trump highlighted paid family leave as one of his Administration’s priorities.

In June 2019, the National Academy of Social Insurance issued an in-depth report, Designing Universal Family Care, in partnership with Caring Across Generations. The report was developed over a year of deliberations by a Study Panel of 29 experts in care policy from a variety of perspectives. Academy members Marc Cohen, Co-Director of the LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston, and Heidi Hartmann, former President and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, served as Study Panel Co-Chairs.

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Posted on February 5, 2020  |  Write the first comment
Monday, January 27, 2020

In Memoriam: Pete Stark

Bill Arnone, CEO, National Academy of Social Insurance


Congressman Fortney H. "Pete" Stark passed away on January 24, 2020. To read Congressman Stark’s official obituary or to share your memories of Pete and read memories shared by others, please visit:

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Posted on January 27, 2020  |  Write the first comment
Thursday, January 16, 2020

Looking at Climate Change from a Social Insurance Perspective

William Arnone, Chief Executive Officer

William Spriggs, Chief Economist, AFL-CIO

Is there a social insurance response to the many economic, health, and other risks that climate change is generating?

The myriad risks posed by climate change were not envisioned during the Great Depression, out of which much of our nation’s social insurance infrastructure emerged. The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 did not affect the heart of American economic activity, and was treated as an outlier, “a once in a life-time” event too unlikely to re-occur to get incorporated in actual long-term policy planning.

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Posted on January 16, 2020  |  Write the first comment