TheAnnual Membership Meeting of the National Academy of Social Insurance was held on January 31, 2023. Academy Members can find a recording of the full meeting here.
Here’s an overview of the Academy’s current policy activities.
Three Academy Task Forces on COVID-19; Social Insurance and Older Workers; and Unemployment Insurance
Two Academy Task Forces will be issuing their final reports during the next couple of months.
1. Our COVID-19 Task Force’s Policy Translation Working Group, co-chaired by Henry Aaron and Katherine Baicker, has completed work on its final report, Social Insurance During the Pandemic: Successes, Failures, and Policy Options for the Future. The Working Group’s Principal Investigator, Louise Sheiner, joined Kate Baicker in presenting a summary of the report at the Membership Meeting. Here’s a link to their presentation.
This report assesses the performance of preexisting social insurance and related programs, temporary changes in those programs induced by the pandemic, and some new federal and state policies. It addresses the following critical questions:
What temporary measures, specifically addressing short-term crises, would have worked better to protect people?
What changes in permanentpolicies or administrative practice might be considered based on the successes or failures of policies and practices in the pandemic emergency and recovery?
What kinds of additional data collection might have produced better and more useful knowledge about the successes and failures of specific policies and administrative practices?
The final report will be accompanied by a toolkit for use by advocacy organizations and others with an interest in any of the policy options assessed in the report.
2. Our Older Workers’ Retirement Security Task Force, chaired by Barbara Bovbjerg, is completing work on its final report, Older Workers in Physically Challenging Jobs NeedStronger Social Insurance Supports.
This report offers federal policymakers a description of who these workers are, the barriers they face to achieving and sustaining economic security, and a range of policy options that offer opportunities to strengthen the system of supports for these older workers.
A third Academy Task Force on Unemployment Insurance, co-chaired by Till Von Wachter, Ben Gitis, and Julia Simon-Michel, is continuing its deliberations. Having transitioned from the U.S. Department of Labor to Rutgers University and The Century Foundation, Michele Evermore has rejoined the Task Force.
Workers’ Compensation and Racial and Ethnic Data
The Academy’s ongoing Workers’ Compensation research, including the deliberations of our Workers’ Compensation Data Panel, is being expanded to focus on racial/ethnic data gaps in state programs.
Academy Policy Analyst Griffin Murphy, who leads our Workers’ Compensation policy activities, provided a summary at the Academy’s virtual annual Membership Meeting on January 31, 2023. Here’s a link to his presentation.
Social Security and Medicare
The challenges facing our nation’s two core social insurance programs – Social Security and Medicare – have made both programs front-page news and have led some to propose drastic changes. In view of the prospect of legislation to address their financial futures, our Academy, which was created in the aftermath of the last major Social Security Act of 1983, is prepared to play its unique role. Stay tuned for more information on our planned activities.
How To Get More Engaged in the Academy’s Work
In these critical times, we need your active participation to help amplify our activities so that we have a real impact on national discussions about the need for a resilient social insurance system.
If you wish to be more engaged in the Academy’s work, including helping us disseminate our policy research more broadly, please email me at email@example.com.