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Meeting Today's Challenges in Social Security, Health Reform, and Unemployment Insurance

NOTE: Roundtable discussions were concurrent on Friday, January 28, 2011 from 9:00am-10:00am at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.  Roundtable attendees did not need to be registered for the conference.   

ROUNDTABLES AT-A-GLANCE:

  1. From Workers’ Compensation to Disability Insurance: Assessing New Approaches
  2. Solutions in the States: Long-term Services and Supports in 2011
  3. The Importance of Social Security to Diverse Communities
  4. State Health Insurance Exchanges: Options for Policymakers
  5. Families, Children, and Unemployment Insurance

1) From Workers’ Compensation to Disability Insurance: Assessing New Approaches
Room Location TBA, National Press Club, Washington, DC
The first state workers’ compensation program is 100 years old this year. Today, we face important questions about the role of disability insurance and workers’ compensation as workers and employers face the consequences of the deepest economic recession since the Great Depression. When aging baby boomers experience job loss and chronic health problems, they face stiff competition in today’s labor market. In a risky economy, employers are cautious about hiring new workers or accommodating workers with special needs. What policy issues and options need to be addressed in today’s environment to meet tomorrow’s challenges in disability income policy? This session will examine a recent policy proposal to modernize the U.S. disability income system. Distinguished experts will provide discussion and commentary for refining policy options. Speakers include:

  • Marty Ford, the ARC and United Cerebral Palsy (moderator)
  • Mark Duggan, University of Maryland
  • Paul Van de Water, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • Glenn Shor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration 

2) Solutions in the States: Long-term Services and Supports in 2011
Room Location TBA, National Press Club, Washington, DC
With the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in March 2010, states where encouraged to adopt new ways of delivering long-term services and supports (LTSS). However, states are facing difficult budget environments in the year ahead and are trimming Medicaid spending, the primary source for LTSS funding in many states. With that in mind, this roundtable will address states' concerns regarding LTSS in the states in 2011. In addition, it will address to how they will move forward, while attempting to maintain current programs and adopt new programs with the flexibility offered by the ACA without any expanded federal funding. Panelists will also discuss the toll that this will take on those receiving LTSS, those who provide LTSS, and the state and local governments charged with regulating LTSS.

  • Bob Rosenblatt, National Academy of Social Insurance (moderator)
  • Diane Justice, National Academy for State Health Policy
  • JoAnn Lamphere, AARP
  • Michael Leachman, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities 

3) The Importance of Social Security to Diverse Communities
Room Location TBA, National Press Club, Washington, DC
In order for the debate on Social Security reform to be balanced, it is essential to understand the critical role of the program as a bulwark against economic insecurity for all Americans, and in particular for vulnerable communities. These groups – including minorities, women, communities of color, and individuals with disabilities – have much at stake in the Social Security reform debate, yet their voices are rarely heard. This roundtable will take the form of a facilitated discussion, addressing the importance of Social Security to these vulnerable communities, and the increasing ways in which they are raising their voices in support of Social Security. Speakers include:

  • Kilolo Kijakazi, Ford Foundation (moderator)
  • Erika Hagensen, The ARC of North Carolina
  • Avis Jones-DeWeever, National Council of Negro Women
  • Leticia Miranda, National Council of La Raza
  • Doua Thor, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center  

4) State Health Insurance Exchanges: Options for Policymakers
Room Location TBA, National Press Club, Washington, DC
State-based health insurance exchanges are a centerpiece of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). To ensure successful implementation of this important piece of the legislation, NASI has developed a blue-ribbon study panel to assist states in understanding key challenges and design issues of state-based exchanges. A model statute with legislative options, the first study panel product, will be released just in time for the states to consult in their spring sessions. During the roundtable, the co-chairs of the NASI study panel will showcase this useful tool for policymakers and legislators working to establish the exchanges by 2014. Speakers include:

  • Andy Hyman, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (moderator)
  • Deborah Chollet, Mathematica Policy Research
  • Lee Goldberg, National Academy of Social Insurance
  • Sara Rosenbaum, George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services 

5) Families, Children, and Unemployment Insurance
Room Location TBA, National Press Club, Washington, DC
NASI’s work on Unemployment Insurance (UI) in 2010 has created an agenda for new work in 2011. This roundtable will explore the importance of UI to families and children. Panelists will discuss how UI benefits provide critical support to unemployed individuals and their families by keeping them afloat during times of economic hardship. The discussion will help develop the NASI UI agenda going forward. Speakers include:

  • Margaret Simms, Urban Institute (moderator)
  • Heather Boushey, Center for American Progress
  • Luke Shaefer, University of Michigan School of Social Work
  • Stephen Woodbury, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research