HEALTH CARE REFORMS FOR 21ST CENTURY WOMEN
April 11, 2008
Women are more likely to need flexible schedules to care for a sick child, get children to soccer practice or spend a half-day checking on an aging parent, says Terry Neese, a distinguished fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis.
The law should encourage employee benefits programs that never hurt those who work, says Neese:
- For women and all parents who work, it should be easier to find alternatives to the traditional 40-hour week.
- Flexibility must extend to those who face the burden of aging parents who need time and care.
- We need a level playing field for people who themselves save for retirement and purchase health insurance, long-term care insurance or day care.
- Tax and benefit laws should never penalize those who do not access such programs through employer programs, but who use their own wits to achieve coverage.
- Health and retirement benefits would promote a social good, preventing loss of security when people switch jobs or change schedules.
- We need a new approach to taxation of Social Security benefits, so that marginal tax rates don't rise for the ambitious and hardworking.
- A purer free labor market would allow a wider variety of work arrangements and would not penalize those who for family reasons work outside the traditional 40-hour week norm.
- There should be systems to allow 25- or 30-hour-a-week workers to secure the value of core benefits, to fit lifestyles that include raising children or caring part time for aging parents.
Source: Terry Neese, "Health Care Reforms for 21st Century Women," Washington Examiner, April 10, 2008.
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