January 29 – January 30, 2009

January 29-January 30, 2009 ~ NASI’s 21st Annual Conference ~ Presentations now available for download!

Stagnant wages, frozen or terminated pension plans, rising health care costs, and shrinking employer-sponsored health insurance point to a greater need for social insurance. The financial crisis and economic downturn pose new challenges for families and create new pressures on the federal budget. How can social insurance protections be strengthened while taming projected long-term deficits and promoting economic growth? What can be done to control the growth in health spending and improve the quality of care? How should we shape public policies towards retirement income security and health coverage? If additional revenues are needed, how should they be raised? How can policymakers balance the tradeoffs among deficit control, economic stimulus, and the economic wellbeing of American families? Top scholars addressed these issues and more at NASI’s 21st Annual Conference held on January 29-30, 2009.

  • Howard Fluhr, Chairman, The Segal Company
  • Robert Greenstein, Executive Director, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • Renée Landers, Associate Professor of Law, Suffolk University Law School


Day One: Thursday, January 29, 2009

9:00am Registration and Light Breakfast

10:00am Welcome and Opening Speaker

  • Welcome
    Margaret Simms, President, National Academy of Social Insurance; Senior Fellow, the Urban Institute
  • Opening speaker
    Sharing Risk In a “New Era of Responsibility”

    Jacob Hacker, Professor of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley

10:45am Session I: Social Insurance: Two Visions for the Future
How should America cope with risks to economic security that affect virtually everyone, such as illness, loss of earning capacity, and retirement? By 2035, when boomers are retired, what would be ideal policies to have in place? What actions should we take now to realize that vision?

  • Moderator: William Rodgers III, Chief Economist for the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, Rutgers University
  • Coping with Economic Risk: The Complementary Roles of Social Insurance and Personal Responsibility: Henry Aaron, Bruce and Virginia MacLaury Senior Fellow in the Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution
  • Mutual Obligation and the American Social Contract: Stuart Butler, Vice President for Domestic and Economic Policy Studies, The Heritage Foundation

12:30pm Luncheon

1:00pm Luncheon Speaker

  • Protecting the Vulnerable, Spurring the Economy: Social Insurance in an Economic Downturn E.J. Dionne, Columnist, The Washington Post; Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

1:45pm Session II: How Can We Improve Quality and Control Growth in Health Spending?
What tools exist (or need to be developed) to improve the quality of health care and control the growth in spending? What do we know, and how can we apply that knowledge? What do we need to learn?

  • Moderator: Judy Feder, Professor and Dean of Public Policy at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, Georgetown University
  • Refining and Applying Existing Tools: William Scanlon, Senior Policy Advisor, Health Policy R&D
  • The Role of Delivery System Reform: Jay Crosson, M.D., Senior Medical Director, The Permanente Federation
  • Realigning Incentives to Promote Affordable Quality Care: Joseph Antos, Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy, American Enterprise Institute
  • Path to High Performance – A 2020 Vision and How to Get There: Cathy Schoen, Senior Vice President, The Commonwealth Fund

3:30pm Session III: What Vision of Retirement Income Security Will Guide Policy?
Do we need to rethink the “three-legged stool” of retirement income? As employers move away from defined benefit pension plans, are we left with just social insurance and personal saving? What vision of an American retirement income system of the future should guide policy?

  • Moderator: Ken Apfel, Director of the Management, Finance and Leadership Program, University of Maryland
  • The Social Security Leg: Joseph Quinn, Professor Of Economics, Boston College
  • Reforming Social Security to Restrain Costs and Increase Effectiveness: Andrew Biggs, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
  • DB Plans – The Real Deal: Beth Almeida, Executive Director, National Institute on Retirement Security
  • Complimentary Roles of Social Security and Private Savings: Lisa Mensah, Executive Director, Initiative on Financial Security, The Aspen Institute

5:00pm Reception and Presentation of the 2008 Heinz Dissertation Award

6:00pm Dinner

7:00pm Dinner Speaker

  • On the Threshold of a New Social Compact Diana Aviv, President and CEO, The Independent Sector

Day Two: Friday, January 30, 2009

8:00am Annual NASI Membership Meeting and Breakfast (Members Only)

9:00am Roundtable discussions

  • Preparing the Path to Long-Term Care Reform: Sharing Views and Strategies
    Participants: Rhonda Richards, American Association of Retired People; Elizabeth Royal, Service Employees International Union; Ed Howard, Alliance for Health Reform; Anne Montgomery, Senate Special Committee on Aging
  • Administrative Solutions for Expanding Access to Health Care
    Participants: Paul N. Van de Water, NASI/Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; Robert A. Berenson, M.D., The Urban Institute; William A. Morrill, ICF Consulting; Terry F. Buss, National Academy of Public Administration
  • Strengthening Social Security: What is at Stake? What Will it Take?
    Participants: Virginia Reno, National Academy of Social Insurance; Mark Schmitt, The American Prospect; Margot Brandenburg, The Rockefeller Foundation
  • Medicare Coverage for Disability Beneficiaries: How Long Must They Wait?
    Participants: Stuart Guterman, The Commonwealth Fund; Jim Verdier, Mathematica Policy Research; Gina Livermore, Mathematica Policy Research; Rachel Shiffrin, Medicare Rights Center

10:15am Session IV: What Roles Will Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Fill?
How should these federal health programs be strengthened? How can Medicare serve as a model for efforts to slow the growth of costs in the rest of the health care system? What other steps should be taken to address Medicare and Medicaid’s long-run financial challenges?

  • Moderator: Renée Landers, Suffolk University Law School
    Are Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Bridges to Expanding Coverage: Renée Landers, Associate Professor, Suffolk University Law School
  • Value-Based Purchasing in Medicare – Going Beyond Pay-for-Performance: Dr. Robert Berenson, Senior Fellow, Urban Institute
  • Medicaid’s Role in Health Reform Efforts: Diane Rowland, Executive Director, Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured; Executive Vice President, Health Policy, Kaiser Family Foundation
  • SCHIP – Now and Then: Cindy Mann, Executive Director, The Center for Children and Families
  • Medicare – Solution or Problem?: James Capretta, Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy

12:15pm Luncheon

12:45pm Luncheon Speaker

  • Curbing High Health Costs: The Linchpin for Successful Health Reform John Sweeney, President, AFL-CIO

2:00pm Session V: How Will We Pay for the Public Programs We Want?
What sources of revenue are available to pay for rising health care costs and the aging of the population? What kind of tax structure would promote fiscal responsibility and economic growth? Does the U.S. need a value-added tax?

  • Moderator: Robert Greenstein, Founder and Director, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • No Free Lunch – The Case for a Value Added Tax: Michael Graetz, Justus S. Hotchkiss Professor of Law, Yale Law School
  • Progressive Tax Reform in the Era of Globalization: Jason Bordoff, Policy Director, The Hamilton Project, The Brookings Institution
  • A Promise to Keep – Towards Intergenerational Equity: Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, Health Policy and Retirement Security Research Assistant, Economic Policy Institute
  • Budgeting for Future Entitlements: Alice Rivilin, Henry Cohen Professor at the Milano Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy, New School University and Senior Fellow in Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution

3:30pm Adjournment

Conference sponsors included The Ford FoundationThe Peter G. Peterson FoundationAmerigroupELM Income GroupThe American Board of Internal MedicineThe SCAN Foundation, and The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).