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Friday, July 6, 2012

Three Years of Sluggish Recovery Means UI Benefits are Still Critical for Millions of Unemployed Workers

Jasmine V. Tucker, National Academy of Social Insurance

Three years into a very modest recovery, unemployed workers continue to experience hardship and are facing cuts to emergency unemployment insurance benefits.

June 2009 marked both the official end of the Great Recession and the beginning of the current recovery, which has been plagued by high unemployment rates, historic long-term unemployment, and sluggish job growth. The national unemployment rate in June 2012 was 8.2%, 3.2 percentage points higher than at the start of the recession in December 2007, and the employment situation in most states is still bleak. If we consider a broader unemployment measure that includes workers who have given up searching for work and those who are underemployed (employed but not working as many hours as they would like), the unemployment rate is much higher -- 14.6%.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Native Americans Voice their Support of Social Security

Jennifer Clark, National Academy of Social Insurance

Social Security was on the agenda this week at the mid-year conference of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) in Lincoln, NE. This conference is a chance for tribal leaders to vote on resolutions that will establish the organization’s position on issues relevant to Native people and tribal nations. One resolution, Social Security and American Indian Elders, called for NCAI to take a position against raising the retirement age, against reducing Social Security’s cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), and for finding broader sources of income to ensure Social Security’s solvency. In essence, the resolution asked NCAI’s member tribes to push back against cuts to Social Security.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Medicare and Medicaid Reforms That Can Help Curb Costs

Adam Jutha

Increased use of comparative effectiveness research in funding decisions for Medicare and Medicaid programs will ensure technologic advancements demonstrate cost containment strategies and improved quality of health care services when new medical innovation is proposed for use in the United States’ health care system, thereby reducing overall health care expenditures.

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Social Security: It’s for young people, too

Elisa Walker, National Academy of Social Insurance

I’m a young American; I value Social Security; and this week in particular, I’m feeling reassured that Social Security is on solid footing and will be there for me when I need it. In fact, I see it as a great investment. 

To some, these statements might seem unrealistic, especially given all the negative media coverage that followed the release of the 2012 Social Security Trustees Report last week. But despite the doomsday responses, the reality is actually reassuring – especially for today’s young people, who are used to hearing misleading accounts to the contrary.

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Monday, March 19, 2012

The Affordable Care Act Turns Two

Lee Goldberg, National Academy of Social Insurance

Sabiha Zainulbhai, National Academy of Social Insurance

March 23rd, 2012 will mark the second anniversary of the signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). This legislation represents one of the largest and most comprehensive reforms to the American health care system since the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. The ACA seeks to extend coverage to roughly 50 million uninsured Americans, slowing down the growth in the cost of health care, and improving the quality of care health care by changing the delivery system.

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