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2020 Discussion Archive

Friday, July 24, 2020

Caregiving needs across the country, Biden’s $775 billion proposal, and a social insurance approach

Bethany Cole, Research Assistant for Health Policy

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted both severe inadequacy and major inequalities in our country's caregiving infrastructure. Prior to the pandemic, needs for child care, as well as long-term services and supports (LTSS) for older adults and adults living with disabilities, were already growing.

For many families, care demands may become unmanageable, or manageable only at significant cost to family members’ health, well-being, income, and careers. This is especially true for women — especially women of color — who face stark disadvantages in terms of financial security and labor force attachment when meaningful access to affordable early child care and education (ECCE), and to paid family and medical leave (PFML), are lacking.

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Posted on July 24, 2020  |  Write the first comment
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Monday, July 20, 2020

A Message from the Chair and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Academy of Social Insurance

As our Academy starts a new fiscal year, we wish to express deep gratitude to our Members and colleagues for their ongoing support of our work, especially during this time of economic and health catastrophes.

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Posted on July 20, 2020  |  Write the first comment
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Monday, July 20, 2020

In Memoriam: John Lewis

William Arnone, CEO, National Academy of Social Insurance

We have lost a true hero. Representative John Lewis passed away on Friday, July 17, 2020.

One of the leaders of the civil rights movement of the 1960s and the last surviving speaker from the 1963 March on Washington, Congressman Lewis represented the state of Georgia in the House of Representatives since 1987. He was often referred to as “the conscience of Congress.”

An ardent supporter of Social Security, his Congressional website includes the following statement:

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Posted on July 20, 2020  |  4 comments  |  Add your comment
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Friday, June 19, 2020

How the Unemployment Insurance system is failing workers of color

Elaine Weiss, Lead Policy Analyst for Income Security

The protests sweeping the United States (and cities around the world) over the past couple of weeks reflect not just rightful outrage over the heinous murders of George Floyd and others. They are the product of pent-up rage at systemic disparities that make daily life unstable, undignified, and unsafe for people and communities of color. 

As we at the Academy grapple with how our work has sought to help reduce these disparities, and how we have fallen short, the most recent data on joblessness and poverty trends shine a spotlight on both, illuminating the urgent work ahead of us.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Reflecting on the Academy’s commitment to the Movement for Black Lives

We remain outraged and pained by the heinous murders of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other Black people in the United States, killed by police brutality and racial injustice. We send our heartfelt condolences to the families and communities directly and deeply impacted by these travesties of justice. We stand with the many communities, organizations, and activists leading the fight for racial equity and justice.

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Friday, May 15, 2020

Focusing efforts on reducing costs of COVID-19 for those least able to bear them

Elaine Weiss, Lead Analyst for Income Security

Over the past two months, it has become clear that, like many other crises to hit the United States in recent decades – Hurricanes Katrina, Harvey, and Maria and the floods and droughts that have wiped out farms across the Midwest and California – the COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately hurting those with the fewest resources to cope. The second Virtual Roundtable in the Academy’s Responding to COVID-19 series highlighted these realities.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Social Security's Financing and Benefits

William Arnone, Chief Executive Officer

The 2020 Report of the Social Security Trustees, released on April 22nd, notes that, using its best-estimate assumptions, the reserves of the combined Old Age Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds along with projected program income are sufficient to cover projected program cost over the next 10 years. By 2035, however, these combined reserves are projected to be depleted. Unless Congress acts, the projected revenues will be sufficient to pay only 79% of scheduled benefits.

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Posted on May 12, 2020  |  1 comment  |  Add your comment
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Friday, May 8, 2020

Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis: Impacts on the Disability Community

Bethany Cole, Research Assistant for Health Policy

On Tuesday, May 5th, 2020, Academy Members and partners convened for the Academy's third Virtual Roundtable on Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis: Impacts on the Disability Community, moderated by Rebecca Vallas, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. The online discussion featured three Academy experts:

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Posted on May 8, 2020  |  Write the first comment
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Monday, April 20, 2020

In Memoriam: Paul O'Neill

William Arnone, CEO, National Academy of Social Insurance

Academy Founding Member Paul H. O’Neill passed away on April 18th. Paul O’Neill’s career was characterized by candor, foresight, and courage. His tenure at Alcoa was marked by his commitment to worker safety and better labor relations. As Treasury Secretary in 2001 and 2002, he opposed tax cuts and urged more aggressive measures to combat global warming. He prided himself on being a non-ideological pragmatist who valued facts and evidence.

Before serving as Secretary of the Treasury under President George W. Bush, O’Neill was Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Alcoa and President of International Paper. He also served as Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget (then called the Bureau of the Budget). His first job after graduating college was at the U.S. Veterans Administration.

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Posted on April 20, 2020  |  6 comments  |  Add your comment
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Friday, April 17, 2020

Biden’s proposal to lower Medicare eligibility to 60: Design options and potential impacts

Bethany Cole, Research Assistant

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has called for lowering Medicare’s eligibility age to 60. What are the potential impacts and policy design issues to consider?

 

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Thursday, April 9, 2020

Unemployment Insurance Benefit Adequacy and Recipiency Report

Elaine Weiss, Lead Policy Analyst for Income Security

State Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs support individual workers between jobs and serve an important role in supporting the economy as a whole during downturns. However, they have been eroding for several decades, handicapping their capacity to fulfill these important roles. Unfortunately, neither state agencies nor the federal government responded to the alarm bells being sounded by researchers and advocates until the COVID-19 pandemic put them in stark relief for all to see.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

COVID-19 pandemic spotlights both critical importance of and structural gaps in Unemployment Insurance

Robert Pavosevich, Office of Workforce Security, Department of Labor (Former)

Stephen Wandner, Senior Fellow, National Academy of Social Insurance

Elaine Weiss, Lead Policy Analyst for Income Security, National Academy of Social Insurance

Researchers have been sounding the alarm about weaknesses in our Unemployment Insurance (UI) program for many years. Unfortunately, it has taken a pandemic for state governments and Congress to pay attention. As a result, this core social insurance program will not be able to perform its key functions – supporting individual workers and their families in challenging times and acting as a financial cushion – to full effect. Workers, especially the most vulnerable ones, will suffer more harm than they should in the coming months, and the nation’s economy will not receive the much-needed boost it could and should have.

The good news is that we have a unique opportunity at this moment, when Congress is exploring and enacting a broad range of policy responses to the COVID-19 crisis, to not only provide temporary emergency UI benefits, but to shore up and reform the program in several key ways.

The Erosion of UI

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Monday, March 30, 2020

CARES Act Rebates: Who, How Much, When, and How?

William Arnone, Chief Executive Officer

Historic legislation passed by the Senate (S. 3548) and the House (H.R. 748) – the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act – and signed into law on March 27, 2020, includes the provision of one-time payments to individuals who meet certain eligibility requirements. The effectiveness of the CARES Act’s one-time infusion of financial assistance to eligible individuals will need to be assessed, as Congress works to further address the economic catastrophe confronting our nation.

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Thursday, March 26, 2020

Study Panel on Medicare Eligibility: Message from the Co-Chairs

Marilyn Moon and Cori Uccello

Proposals to adapt Medicare to extend coverage to new beneficiary populations present a significant set of technical and program design challenges. As a leading hub for health policy experts, the National Academy of Social Insurance formed the Study Panel on Medicare Eligibility to examine the options for, and implications of, extending eligibility for Medicare beyond the current covered populations.

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Posted on March 26, 2020  |  Write the first comment
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Thursday, March 19, 2020

Healthcare Coverage and Costs: Assessing Medicare-Based Approaches (Conference Recap)

The Academy’s 32nd annual policy conference explored the implications of using Medicare as a coverage expansion platform for the overall health care system. Below are a few highlights and key takeaways from the convening.

Speaker slides and more info can be found on the conference page.

 

Healthcare and the 2020 Elections

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Posted on March 19, 2020  |  Write the first comment
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