Health & Welfare


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09/11/1433,000 senior citizens had Social Security garnished last year to pay back student debtvox.comStudent Loans, Social Security & Senior Citi...
Student debt isn't just a problem for Millennials. It's increasingly common — though still very rare — among the elderly, who have $18.2 billion in student debt, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office: The total amount of student debt held by people over 65 is still very small compared to the $1 trillion in outstanding debt. But it's grown rapidly since 2005. And the report says that most of these elderly debtors borrowed for their own education, not their children's or grandchildren's. Ma...
09/07/14Retirement: When to start Social Securityusatoday.comSocial Security
Your Social Security can be worth more in golden years' income than your 401(k) or individual retirement account. The trick: Know at what age to best file for benefits. Consider a married couple who both begin Social Security with a first-year combined benefit of just $23,304, based on the Social Security program fact sheet. As of Dec. 31, 2013, the average retired benefits recipient gets $1,294 a month and a spouse $648 a month. A retirement plan needs a value today of $543,147 to provide the same income as Social Secur...
09/02/14How one family can collect 8 different Social Security benefitspbs.orgSocial Security
For some households, it makes sense for a worker to start reduced retirement benefits early in order to permit other family members to immediately start collecting Social Security benefits on the worker’s earnings record. The worker can then suspend his or her retirement benefit at full retirement age and start it up again at 70 at a 32 percent higher value after inflation. This is the Start-Stop-Start Strategy I discussed in a previous column. Let me share an example of this strategy, which is particularly interesting b...
08/26/14Obama tells veterans better mental health care on the wayreuters.comVeterans Benefits, Barack Obama & Department...
President Barack Obama sought to make amends with veterans on Tuesday, announcing steps to expand their access to mental health care and an initiative with financial companies to lower home loan costs for military families. The president was embarrassed earlier this year when it was revealed that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) had been covering up lengthy delays in providing healthcare to former military personnel.
07/31/14U.S. Senate sends VA reform bill to Obamaazcentral.comVeterans Benefits, U.S. Senate & Department...
Legislation to improve veterans' access to medical care passes easily in the Senate with minimal debate.
07/29/14Poverty Part V: Ryan has good questions but few answersdelawareonline.comEarned Income Tax Credit & Welfare Program
The challenge is how to provide support to the poor without reducing incentives to work.
07/29/14Everyone's favorite anti-poverty program doesn't reduce the poverty ratevox.comEarned Income Tax Credit & Welfare Program
Of course, the Earned Income Tax Credit *does* cut poverty. But our official poverty statistics don't reflect that.
07/28/14Medicare solvent until 2030, Social Security until 2033cnbc.comMedicare & Social Security
Slower growth in healthcare spending is shoring up the funding outlook for the federal Medicare program that covers hospital bills for the elderly.
07/28/14Medicare, Social Security Disability Fund Headed in Different Directionsonline.wsj.comMedicare & Social Security
Two of the nation's biggest entitlement programs are on very different paths, government trustees said Monday—with Medicare's trust fund rebounding strongly, but Social Security's disability fund on the brink of exhaustion.
07/25/14Paul Ryan and Obama support the same proposal — and it's still not going to passvox.comEarned Income Tax Credit & Welfare Program
Ryan and Obama's identical EITC plans are paid for in dramatically different ways. And that's why they're doomed.
07/25/14The poison pill at the heart of Paul Ryan's poverty planlatimes.comEarned Income Tax Credit & Welfare Program
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), this week revived his quest to be taken seriously as a "reformist" conservative ("reformicon" is becoming the preferred terminology) by releasing a position paper on refashioning the federal government's poverty programs .
07/24/14What is Paul Ryan's plan to expand the EITC?vox.comEarned Income Tax Credit & Welfare Program
To pay for an expanded EITC, this proposal would eliminate a number of ineffective programs, such as the Social Service Block Grant, the Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program, the Economic Development Administration, and the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. It also would reduce fraud in the Additional Child Tax Credit by requiring the use of Social Security numbers.
07/24/14Why the University of Phoenix’s Favorite Congressman Killed the GI College Aid Billthedailybeast.comGI Bill, Student Loans & John Kline
Legislation designed to prevent for-profit colleges from gaming the federal aid system and exploiting veterans died within 15 minutes of being introduced earlier this month. U.S. Rep. John Kline of Minnesota, the Republican chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, quashed the bill by ruling it nongermane to the topic of financial aid being discussed at his July 10 hearing.
06/11/14Senate Republicans Block Student Loan Billhosted.ap.orgStudent Loans & 113th Senate Republicans
Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked legislation aimed at letting people refinance their student loans at lower rates, a pre-ordained outcome that gave Democrats a fresh election-year talking point against the GOP. The 56-38 vote fell short of the 60 that would have been needed to advance to debate on the measure by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. Her bill would have let millions of borrowers, some with years-old debt and interest rates topping 7 percent or more, refinance at today's lower rates.
06/04/14What went wrong at the VA?vox.comVeterans Benefits, Eric Shinseki & Departmen...
The Department of Veterans Affairs is embroiled in a scandal over massive wait times in its health-care system, particularly at one hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. The scandal is a really big deal: it led to the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.
05/30/14GOP ‘Runs Out the Clock’ on Unemployment Insurancethefiscaltimes.comUnemployment Benefits & Republican Party
Advocates for the long-term unemployed are furious that Congress is set to leave town on another recess without acting to assist the long-term jobless.
05/29/14Stocks edge higher after unemployment claims fallusnews.comUnemployment Benefits
Stocks are edging higher in midday trading as traders look over some mixed news on the U.S. economy.
05/29/14Why Unemployment Insurance Won’t Be a Campaign Issuethefiscaltimes.comUnemployment Benefits
Democrats on Capitol Hill pounded Republicans for blocking an extension of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program this spring, but it’s a subject that most political analysts expect will receive little attention on the campaign trail.
05/28/14President Obama’s plan for rating colleges is promising, because college presidents hate it.slate.comStudent Loans, Pell Grants & Colleges and Un...
Barack Obama’s plan for a universal rating system for America’s colleges and universities, announced last year and the subject of a New York Times front-pager this week, is bad news, say the nation’s college presidents. Given many college presidents’ lack of regard for the students they ostensibly serve, is it any wonder that I think it might actually be a good idea? The proposal as it currently stands—in its “version 1.0,” according to White House official Cecelia Muñoz—is tremendously flawed, but most of its flaws have f...
05/28/14Proposed rule would hurt poor students, for-profit U.S. colleges sayreuters.comStudent Loans, Obama Administration & Poor
Nearly half of students attending for-profit colleges in the United States could lose federal aid if the Obamaadministration implements a new rule on public disclosure of the schools' performance and earnings, according to a report prepared for the colleges and released on Tuesday.

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