“Paradoxically, unemployment insurance systems sometimes include requirements that discourage individuals from engaging in the kinds of activities that could help them eventually obtain productive employment," Adriana Kugler, Vice-Provost for Faculty and Professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy, on revising the current system of unemployment insurance.
The Illinois program may prove to be an appealing prototype. (First it will need approval by the Department of Labor and IRS.) Still, each state is crafting its own version. In Connecticut, the automatic IRA may be paid out as a lifetime annuity or in a lump sum. Indiana is looking at setting up a voluntary plan with a tax credit. “States are a great laboratory for experimentation,” says Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, founder of Georgetown University’s Center for Retirement Initiatives.
D.C. Health Benefit Exchange Authority Executive Director Mila Kofman said the law already has a natural cap. Creating an additional limit could threaten the exchange's ability to be certified as a state-based marketplace by the federal government.
Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, called the Indiana plan “enormously complicated” and questioned the fairness of withholding dental and vision coverage from those who cannot come up with premium payments.
Remember too that there is still a “public” in public-private partnerships. These projects and private involvement will happen only when and where a government wants them. Governments still specify the project’s service and safety standards and will usually hold final say over pricing.
“If I was a donor, I would certainly raise an eyebrow” about such perks, said Kathy Postel Kretman, director of Georgetown University’s Center for Public & Nonprofit Leadership. “In a public charity, the work is mission-driven, and it is not a private business, so with that comes a certain sense of accountability to the public — and these, to me, are beyond reasonable.”
The death of CoOportunity and the pressure surrounding Community Health Alliance demonstrate the difficulties new insurers face attempting to enter a marketplace that has traditionally been dominated by household names, said Sabrina Corlette, a lawyer and senior research fellow at Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms. The challenge is a major one for co-ops, which were created and funded by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
“It’s not for the faint of heart,” Corlette said.