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Our Forgotten Americans Conference

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About the National Senior Citizens Law Center

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8:00 - 9:00 a.m.


9:00 - 9:15 a.m.


Michael Kelly & Judith Stein
National Senior Citizens Law Center & Center for Medicare Advocacy

9:15 - 10:45 a.m.

Is the Social Safety Net for Low Income Older People in the U.S Unraveling, Or Likely to Come Unraveled for the Next Generation?

MODERATOR: Michael Kelly

This presentation assesses the current safety net for older Americans and provides a framework for estimating the extent to which it faces deterioration in the future. Our ability to predict the future of low-income elders in the coming decades has important implications for the future of Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. The decline or demise of the traditional defined-benefit pension and the relentless escalation in health care costs as a percent of personal budgets are two phenomena amongst, perhaps, many more that affect low-income people in particular. Do these two phenomena suggest that the low-income portion of the growing cohort of U.S. elderly will enlarge significantly, regardless of the uncertain fiscal and political futures of both Medicaid and Medicare?

Demographic Trends Among Low-Income Older Americans: Analysis And Implications

Tricia Neuman, Kaiser Family Foundation (15 minutes)
Marilyn Moon, American Institutes for Research (30 minutes)

Robert Greenstein, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and Tricia Neumann

10:45 - 11:00 a.m.


11:00 - 2:30 p.m.

What Are The Appropriate And Most Efficient Roles For the Public and Private
Sectors In Implementation Of Social Policy For Older People?

MODERATOR: Judith Stein

The second segment of the conference focuses on discussing the relative roles for public and private sectors in the implementation of social policy for older Americans. Participants have a rich set of experiences and knowledge with the issues in altering the financing of Social Security and in the lessons learned from government outsourcing to private Medicaid and Medicare private plans. What are the criteria, or the relative merits, or the appropriate conditions for deployment of private and public means of providing public benefits to low income people? Participants will review how best to understand the role and value of “choice” in relation to social policy for people of modest means.

11:00 -Noon

Part I: Lessons Learned From Administering Public-Private Delivery Systems

PRESENTER: Bruce Vladeck, former Administrator of HCFA (CMS); now Executive Director of Health Sciences Advisory Services, Ernst & Young LLP (30 minutes)


Noon-1:00 p.m.


1:00-2:30 p.m.

Part II: Issues in Public and Private Sector Implementation of Health and
Income Programs

PRESENTER: Theodore Marmor, Yale University (30 minutes)

COMMENTATORS: Barbara Kennelly, National Committee to Preserve Social
Security & Medicare (15 minutes)
Kevin Prindiville, National Senior Citizens Law Center; Vicki Gottlich, Center for
Medicare Advocacy; Bruce Vladeck


2:30- 2:45 p.m.


2:45-4:15 p.m.

What is the Role of the Courts and of Advocates in the Realization of Social Policy for Low-income Older People?

The third segment of the conference is an effort to identify and highlight the critical role of advocates and the courts in working or weeding out legislative and administrative ambiguities and/or misinterpretations of social policy for the older people in the United States. The natural reluctance of people in and outside of government to deal with the legal and administrative complexities of social policy implementation has led analysts and policy makers to under-appreciate how significant a role courts play in the system. This segment will focus on the impact of advocacy on the implementation of safety net programs and the role of the courts and the way in which changing legal doctrines in the federal courts have come to affect the implementation of Medicaid, Medicare, and other social programs.

PRESENTER: Simon Lazarus, National Senior Citizens Law Center (30 minutes)

COMMENTATORS: Tim Jost, Washington and Lee University Law School; Sally Hart
& Gill Deford, Center for Medicare Advocacy; TBA, National Senior Citizens Law


4:15-5:00 p.m.

Wrap-up and Next Steps

Michael Kelly and Judith Stein

5:00-6:30 p.m.


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