Social Security Innovation Opportunity: How We Can Nurture New Ideas

Policymakers have been talking on and off for decades about ways to make Social Security solvent and adequate. However, the conversation often seems stuck in the 1980s, the last time Social Security was addressed, with a small set of policy tools to raise revenue or cut benefits being recommended by each politician or group. Yet most of those standard tools are not well-designed. Take, for example, the proposal to raise the retirement age. Policymakers often cite the fact that average …

Ending Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments Will Hurt Older Adults

Federal subsidies, known as cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), have been critical to ensuring that over 2 million lower-income adults ages 50 to 64 who purchase coverage through health insurance Marketplaces can afford health care.[1] Despite the subsidies’ crucial role, the Administration announced yesterday that it will terminate payments for CSRs. The announcement—which comes less than 3 weeks before millions of Americans who buy insurance on the individual market start shopping for 2018 health coverage— is bad news for older adults and people …

Hanging in the Balance: The High Cost of Long-Term Services and Supports

I recently had the opportunity to participate on a panel sponsored by Genworth that turned out to be a truly candid and oftentimes personal discussion on an emerging crisis. The topic: “Solving America’s Long-Term Care Crisis: What We Can Do Now to Fix the $750 Billion Program.” In what way was the panel candid and personal? Much of it had to do with cost. Every day across the United States, millions of families sit at kitchen tables grappling with the …

Economy loses 33,000 jobs in September

Employment overview The economy lost 33,000 jobs in September largely reflecting the impact of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Despite the overall job loss, the labor force participation rate for those ages 55 and older decreased only slightly to 40.1 percent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) September Employment Situation report showed the overall labor force participation rate edged up slightly to 63.1 percent.  The unemployment rate declined to 4.2 percent with 6.8 million persons remaining unemployed.  Much of the impact …

Moving Dementia Caregiver Support Services into the Mainstream

Many of you, like me, know that family caregiving for someone you love can be a source of deep satisfaction and meaning.  But caring for a person with dementia, known as dementia caregivers, can exact an especially high emotional, physical and financial toll on family members themselves. Dementia caregivers commonly experience more emotional upset, distress, isolation, and financial burdens than those caring for people with other illnesses who do not have dementia because daily care needs are progressive, complex, and …

Caregiving’s Global Idea Exchange

As I put the finishing touches on this post, I’m making final preparations to travel to Adelaide, the capital city of the Australian state of South Australia. There I’ll present at the 7th annual International Carers Conference. This year the theme of the conference is “Caring into the Future: the new world?” That theme is appropriate for a number of reasons, but as for the world reference, the event serves as a reminder that caregiving is a global topic of …