How big is your retirement package? Benefits from government retirement programs—Social Security and Medicare—vary over time, but the trend has been toward higher lifetime benefits for each successive cohort. Expansion derives mainly from increases in real annual benefits, more years of benefits through longer lifespans, and better and more expensive health care. In 1960, a couple where each spouse earned constant “average” wages over a career beginning at age 22 and retired on his or her 65th birthday would receive about $300,000 in health and retirement benefits; today, that figure is over $1 million in health and retirement benefits (figure 1). The expected benefits for couples turning 65 in 2050—age 30 today—are scheduled to rise under current law to almost $2 million.
Few Americans who read a newspaper didn’t hear about last year’s Veterans Health Administration scandal, in which VA officials manipulated patient waiting lists in order to deny care to ailing veterans. I observed at the time that the VA’s brand of government-run medicine was far worse than Obamacare. And I questioned why lawmakers hadn’t done more to reform veterans’ health care. Today, Concerned Veterans for America is publishing the most comprehensive effort in decades to reform the VA, and to ensure that veterans gain access to the same high-quality health care available to most Americans.
Between state, federal and Medicare taxes, and insurance premium growth potentially displacing wage increases, you paid a high price for health care in 2014—even if you were healthy and never used the system once.
The annual County Health Rankings, conducted by the University of Wisconsin and sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, grade localities on a variety of health outcomes and factors.
Select your county from the menus below to see how it stacked up against others in your state. Rankings data is shown separately for 2012, 2013 and 2014.
For a full description of the methodology, visit the county health rankings website. The online hub also includes a searchable map and idea centers for policymakers to confront the challenges presented by the findings.
We examine the long-term impact of expansions to Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program that occurred in the 1980’s and 1990’s. With administrative data from the IRS, we calculate longitudinal health insurance eligibility from birth to age 18 for children in cohorts affected by these expansions, and we observe their longitudinal outcomes as adults. Using a simulated instrument that relies on variation in eligibility by cohort and state, we find that children whose eligibility increased paid more in cumulative taxes by age 28. These children collected less in EITC payments, and the women had higher cumulative wages by age 28. Incorporating additional data from the Medicaid Statistical Information System (MSIS), we find that the government spent $872 in 2011 dollars for each additional year of Medicaid eligibility induced by the expansions. Putting this together with the estimated increase in tax payments discounted at a 3% rate, assuming that tax impacts are persistent in percentage terms, the government will recoup 56 cents of each dollar spent on childhood Medicaid by the time these children reach age 60. This return on investment does not take into account other benefits that accrue directly to the children, including estimated decreases in mortality and increases in college attendance. Moreover, using the MSIS data, we find that each additional year of Medicaid eligibility from birth to age 18 results in approximately 0.58 additional years of Medicaid receipt. Therefore, if we scale our results by the ratio of beneficiaries to eligibles, then all of our results are almost twice as large.
The Uninsured: A Primer – Key Facts About Health Insurance and the Uninsured in America | The Henry J. Kaiser Family FoundationDecember 7, 2014
The Uninsured: A Primer is structured in two parts. The first presents basic information about health coverage and the uninsured population leading up to and after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, who the uninsured are and why they do not have health coverage. The second presents information on the impact lack of insurance can have on health outcomes and personal finances, and provides an understanding of the difference health insurance makes in people’s lives.
According to the World Economic Forum’s 2014-15 Global Competitiveness Report, the United States has the third most competitive economy in the world. The U.S. ranked fifth in 2013-14. Switzerland has the most competitive economy. Global competitiveness is “defined as the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity.”
From the report itself regarding U.S.: “some weaknesses in particular areas remain to be addressed. The business community continues to be rather critical, with trust in politicians still somewhat weak (48th), concerns about favoritism of government officials (47th), and a general perception that the government spends its resources relatively wastefully (73rd). The macroeconomic environment remains the country’s greatest area of weakness (113th), although the fiscal deficit continues to narrow and public debt is slightly lower for the first time since the crisis.”