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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
Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Steve Goss, SSA's Chief Actuary, on the Death of Robert J. Myers

Stephen C. Goss

Robert "Bob" Myers was indeed the father of all actuaries who have worked on Social Insurance. As a junior actuary he was deeply involved in the development of the Social Security program even before its inception in 1935. As Chief Actuary at SSA he later did the development work and estimates for Medicare. Although contentious at times in the past, his relationship with Bob Ball reflected mutual respect and principles that now seem far closer together than they believed at the time. Bob was active, engaged, and advising to those who followed to the end. He is singularly responsible for the strength and principles now cherished and guarded at the office he formed. But he will be best remembered by many of us for his simple and modest disclaimer at the beginning of public comments for decades where he proclaimed himself "a lifelong student of Social Security."
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Posted on February 17, 2010  |  5 comments  |  Add your comment
Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New PEW Survey Reinforces Findings of NASI Report on “Americans’ Views on Social Security”

Deric Joyner

According to a new PEW Research Center For the People and the Press survey report, “Public’s Priorities For 2010: Economy, Jobs, Terrorism,” Social Security ranks fourth in Americans’ top priorities for President Obama and the Congress for 2010, ranked just below the Economy, Jobs and Terrorism. The PEW poll shows that six-in-ten Americans (66%) say that securing the Social Security system should be a top priority. Near uniformity in opinion between Democrats, Republicans, and Independents — (Dem. 68) (Rep. 62) (Ind. 66) — on Social Security provides further context on Americans overall opinion on the subject.

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Posted on January 27, 2010  |  Write the first comment
Friday, December 18, 2009

Health Care Should Be Driven by Mission, Not Money

Philip Caper
M.D., Codman Group (Founding Chairman)

As health care reform legislation enters a critical phase in Congress, it's important to keep our eye on the ball — elements essential to the success of any reform effort. In order to define those elements, we must have a clear understanding of the nature of the pathology in our dysfunctional health care system.

Modern high-tech health care is a right of the residents of most wealthy countries in the world - except the United States. America is exceptional in this regard. It is also exceptional in being the only wealthy nation where health care is considered to be a business.

To read the full article, click here.

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Posted on December 18, 2009  |  Write the first comment