NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

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.

Also:

  • 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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