Unlike the United States experience, MSAs in South Africa developed in a relatively free health insurance marketplace. As a result, employers and insurers have been able to experiment and innovate to find out what works and what does not. Their experience offers valuable lessons for the United States.
Social Security reform is one of the most prominent domestic policy issues in the United States. The U.S. is not alone in facing the daunting challenges posed by its retirement security program.
Eighty million people in 20 countries are living under reformed Social Security systems with personal retirement accounts.
Next week Philadelphia's children will be returning to what may be the worst school system in America. But what distinguishes this failed public school systems from others is that two years ago state officials decided to replace the ineffective school board with a School Reform Commission, appointed by the state and given a mandate for serious reform.
South Africa, in its gleaming cities and resorts, provides an example of the tremendous wealth and economic and social progress that all Africans could obtain if only the economic and political institutions in their countries were stable, democratic and economically open.
Utilization of medical care has risen dramatically since Medicare began in 1965. That year, health expenditures accounted for 5.7 percent of the nation's output.
Two recent reports associate lack of health insurance coverage with less access to health care services and worse health outcomes. One study is written by Jack Hadley of the Urban Institute and published by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, the other by an Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
It's a good thing George Washington got his political start in 18th century Virginia. If he lived in Vermont today, he'd find his campaign expenditures illegal. That's because in 1997 the state passed Act 64 limiting the amount a candidate for a seat in the state's lower house can spend to 70 cents per registered voter.
Almost 40 million Americans go without health insurance coverage for an entire year, and as many as 20 million others are without health insurance coverage during some part of the year.
Current federal law includes a number of tax incentives that encourage Americans to obtain health insurance. Employer-provided health insurance and employer reimbursements for medical care are generally excluded from an employee's taxable income.
The $190 billion Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, passed by Congress and signed by President Bush, was a big mistake. While the Farm Act may serve farmers in the short run, it will harm them and many others over time.
There is a saying I often think of when discussing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS): "Bureaucracy is the art of making the possible, impossible." But every now and then even the IRS surprises me by doing the exact opposite.
How could this administration, so strong in fighting the war and conducting foreign policy, be so tentative in formulating economic policy? The answer lies in the contrast between President Bush's clearly articulated war policies and the lack of clearly understood economic policies.
Steel prices have risen by 30 to 50 percent since President Bush announced the imposition of special tariffs on steel imports in March. Steel consumers – firms that process steel for specific applications and manufacturers who use steel to make machines, equipment and consumer products – report supply shortages, lost contracts and production cutbacks.
No one doubts that there has been a major scientific breakthrough in the use of drugs to treat the seriously mentally ill. The discovery of atypical antipsychotic drugs makes it possible for schizophrenics – who would have been institutionalized only a few decades ago – to lead reasonably normal lives.
Advocates of mental health parity assume that all health care should be paid for in the same way. Federal law already requires that any cap on private health insurance benefits (e.g., a limit on the amount of total spending) must be the same for physical and mental health services.
People on Medicare are the only group in our society that needs to purchase a second insurance policy to fill the gaps in their primary health plan. Even after doing that, many seniors do not have coverage for the prescription drugs that non-seniors take for granted.
Before members of Congress enact a new prescription drug benefit for the elderly, they should look carefully at the experience of South Africans with medical savings accounts (MSAs).
It's August. Feet up on the railing and forget about your irritable boss, deadlines, e-mails and meetings. Time to open a cold one, lean back, gaze at the horizon and think things over.
Utilization of medical care has risen dramatically since Medicare began in 1965. In that year, health expenditures accounted for 5.7 percent of the nation’s output.
Senior citizens near the time of their death can expect to generate more than $50,000 in medical, funeral and burial costs.