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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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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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