The failed promise of the Affordable Care Act

In July 2009, as the Affordable Care Act moved through Congress, Steny Hoyer, the second-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, laughed at the idea that any legislator would actually read the bill before voting on it. If such full-body immersion were necessary to support the A.C.A., he said, “I think we would have very […]

Paying Off the Mortgage Is Becoming Harder for Older Workers

LIKE Archie Bunker, who celebrated paying off his home mortgage by burning his documents in a 1975 episode of “All in the Family,” many workers once routinely timed retirement to coincide with paying off amortgage. But now older workers, stung by a punishing decline in house prices or high consumer debt, are increasingly unable to […]

When Private Equity Firms Give Retirees the Short End

Who comes first, the investors or the person who manages their money? That question is crucial for any investor. But it poses a special challenge for retired firefighters, police officers, teachers and other employees who may not know that their retirement money is being held in private equity funds. These are opaque and costly investment […]

America’s Seniors Find Middle-Class ‘Sweet Spot’

Most Americans suffered serious losses during and after the recession, knocked off balance by layoffs, stagnant pay and the collapse of home values. But apart from the superrich, one group’s fortunes appear to have held remarkably steady: seniors. Supported by income from Social Security, pensions and investments, as well as an increasing number of paychecks […]

Seniors and Income Inequality: How Things Get Worse With Age

Income inequality has been rising on the political agenda, yet one group has been left out of the discussion: seniors. Older adults are somewhat less likely than working-age adults to be poor by the government’s traditional poverty measure, developed in the 1960s. But this official measure may understate the extent to which seniors live in poverty. […]

The top 50 hospitals that gouge patients the most

These are the 50 hospitals in the United States with the highest markup of prices over their actual costs. That means that they are charging out-of-network patients and the uninsured, as well as auto and workers’ compensation insurers, more than 10 times the costs allowed by Medicare, according to new research published Monday. Who are […]

Kuttner, Galston, and the Debate Over the Social Safety Net

I take exception to most of the assumptions and conclusions in William Galston’s piece. For starters, the debate about entitlement programs is needs to be located within a larger debate about the mixed economy. Galston begins by asserting: “I take it we agree that suitably structured and regulated markets generate wealth more effectively than other economic […]