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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Social Insurance Approach to the Problem of Paying for Long-Term Care

Bob Rosenblatt
Senior Fellow, NASI

The United States is going to try something new – a social insurance approach to the problem of paying for long-term services and supports. As more and more of the 76 million baby boomers move into their 60s and beyond, there will be a growing population of people who need help with the activities of daily living (using the toilet, dressing, bathing, eating, getting in and out of bed, walking around in the house or apartment). To date, this has been a private responsibility, with individuals and families providing care or paying for it out of their own funds. The government gets involved only if you go into a nursing home and “spend down,” using all your money until you have just $2,000. Then you qualify for Medicaid, the government’s health program for the poor.

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Posted on June 1, 2010  |  Write the first comment
Friday, May 14, 2010

Focusing on Lifetime Income is the Best Way Women and Men Can Manage Their Retirement

Cindy Hounsell
President, Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER)

The topic of retirement security has implications for a range of stakeholders—the financial services industry, employers, policymakers, individuals and their families, and societies in general.  For so many years, so much of the public discussion on retirement income security has been about inadequate savings.  This subject continues to merit significant attention, but now we are starting to look at the phase of retirement itself and asking what people can do to ensure lifetime income and protect themselves from poverty.  All stakeholders have a role to play in reframing the way people think about retirement income.

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Posted on May 14, 2010  |  1 comment  |  Add your comment
Thursday, April 29, 2010

Calling All Champions of Social Security

Harry C. Ballantyne
Cheif Actuary, Retired, Social Security Administration

In going to the Baltimore Museum of Art recently, I saw a painting that had, as an artist's name "Circle of Rembrandt." When I asked one of the docents at the museum what that meant, I found that originally, it was thought to be a painting by Rembrandt, but found later not to be. The painting turned out to be by one of Rembrandt's students, so they decided to credit the artwork to the name "Circle of Rembrandt."

Consequently, in honor of Bob Ball and his legacy, I think it would be fitting that future good (and, they would have to be good) ideas for improvements in the financing and adequacy of Social Security benefits may merit the name "Circle of Bob Ball."

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Contributions or Taxes? Two Social Security Funding Paradigms

Benjamin Veghte

April 15th is a day we contemplate our financial relationship to government. It thus provides a suitable occasion to reflect on the distinction between Social Security contributions and income taxes. In discussions of Social Security, many disagreements stem from the fact that we view its funding from within different paradigms, namely some of us see these payments as insurance contributions, others as just another form of income tax.  On this year’s Tax Day, this post considers the historical origins of this conceptual distinction, arguments for each of the two paradigms, and their implications for strategies of fiscal reform.

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Posted on April 15, 2010  |  Write the first comment
Thursday, April 1, 2010

Addressing Health Reform Implementation Challenges

Pamela Larson

On Tuesday, March 31, 2010, the last piece of historic health care reform legislation was signed into law. NASI members participated in a variety of ways – from crafting the legislation to scoring its costs and effects to debating its pros and cons.
In July of 2009, the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) released a timely study panel report on Administrative Solutions in Health Reform, produced in conjunction with the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The study panel created a road map of administrative issues key to the successful implementation of the new legislation.
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Posted on April 1, 2010  |  Write the first comment