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Acknowledgements: Intro and outro music generously provided by COPILOT Music + Sound. All rights reserved.

Episode No. 10: The Council’s Health Policy Priorities, Featuring Katy Spangler, Senior Vice President, Health Policy

The fate of the Affordable Care Act – and legislation to repeal and replace it – is at hand. Whether it succeeds or fails, the Council will continue to advocate for the employer-sponsored system of health insurance, which covers more than 177 million people nationwide.

 

This seems like an opportune time, then, to revisit the Council’s health policy priorities: those that have guided our advocacy efforts since the beginning of the repeal-and-replace endeavor, and which will be used to evaluate the final product, in the context of an ACA repeal, replace or repair bill, and possibly comprehensive tax reform. Katy Spangler, the Council’s senior vice president, health policy, talks to Jason about these priorities and what they have to do with the jaws of a crocodile, ants at a picnic and the potential dangers of making salad.



Episode No. 9: The Trouble with Tax Reform with Janice Mays, Former Democratic Chief Counsel and Staff Director, House Ways and Means Committee

If you want to trace the history of employee benefits, one good way to do so is to look at the tax code. Employer-sponsored health and retirement benefits are governed in part by the tax code, and over the years the incentives for these plans have been dialed up and down, often to meet certain revenue goals.

Congress is now toying with the idea of comprehensive tax reform once again. To give us some perspective on that process, host Jason Hammersla talks with Janice Mays, who is currently the managing director of Washington National Tax Services Tax Policy Services at PricewaterhouseCoopers, but recently left Capitol Hill after 40 years, including more than 22 years as the Democratic chief counsel and staff director for the House Ways and Means Committee, from which all tax law must originate. They discuss the personalities, pitfalls and promise behind past and present tax reform efforts.


 

Episode No. 8: Minding the National Savings Gap with John C. Scott of the Pew Charitable Trusts Retirement Research Project

Public perception and prevailing data suggest the presence of a “retirement savings gap,” the difference between what Americans have saved for retirement versus what they actually need. In this episode, Jason Hammersla talks with John C. Scott, Director of the Pew Charitable Trusts Retirement Savings Project, about the real challenges and potential improvements to building retirement savings, including the rise of state-based programs for private-sector workers.

The mission of the Pew Charitable Trusts Retirement Research project is to “study the challenges and opportunities for increasing retirement savings,” specifically examining “barriers to retirement savings.” Before joining Pew, John was a professor and researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and served for a time as director of retirement policy for the Council, so it seems fitting to have him come by to chat in our 50th anniversary year.


Episode No. 7: Starting from Scratch on a National Retirement Policy, with the Council's Lynn Dudley

On June 6, the Council released ten principles for building a national retirement policy. In an effort to forge such a policy, we have gathered the insights of our member companies that sponsor these retirement plans into this one document that summarizes our recommended approach.

In this episode, Jason Hammersla talks with Lynn Dudley, the Council’s senior vice president, global retirement and compensation policy, about the provenance and purpose of these principles as well as the challenges that lay ahead.

Dudley directs the Council's advocacy efforts regarding retirement and compensation policy, including defined benefit and defined contribution plans and executive and non-qualified deferred compensation. Lynn also coordinates the Council's efforts and outreach in the international arena.


Episode No. 6: The Millennial Workforce & What They Want with Young Invincibles’ Colin Seeberger

Millennials now constitute the largest share of today’s workforce. Colin Seeberger, strategic campaigns advisor for Young Invincibles, sits down with Eunju Namkung to discuss Millennial wants and needs with regard to health benefits, retirement savings and other financial challenges.

Young Invincibles is an advocacy organization founded in 2009 to represent the interests of 18- to 34-year-olds, including matters related to health care, education, jobs and financial security. Colin manages the organization’s health care campaign, as well as its public education and outreach efforts around higher education reform and the 2016 elections.


Episode No. 5: Building a Secure Retirement for Women with WISER President Cindy Hounsell

What are the unique disadvantages that women face saving for and during retirement? Cindy Hounsell, the president of Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER), sits down with host Jason Hammersla to discuss these challenges, as well as what can be done to build a more secure retirement reality for women.

Cindy Hounsell is the President of WISER, the Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement, a nonprofit organization that seeks to improve the opportunities for women to secure retirement income and to educate the public about the inequities that disadvantage women in retirement. Hounsell was appointed in 2011 to the ERISA Advisory Council, and in 2008 to the Advisory Panel on Medicare Education (APME) representing the field of retirement and financial planning. She is widely quoted and frequently invited to speak and teach as an expert in securing financial futures for women.


Episode No. 4: Talking Health Care Costs and Value-Based Insurance with Harvard Professor Michael Chernew

Katy Spangler, the American Benefits Council’s senior vice president, health policy, talks to Harvard Medical School Professor Michael Chernew, PhD, about health care costs, the promise of value-based insurance and what it all has to do with peanut butter and jelly.

Michael Chernew, PhD, is the Leonard D. Schaeffer Professor of Health Care Policy and the director of the Healthcare Markets and Regulation (HMR) Lab in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Chernew’s research examines several areas related to controlling health care spending growth while maintaining or improving quality of care.


Episode No. 3: Talking Tax Reform, Retirement Policy and State Plans with former U.S. Representative Earl Pomeroy

In the second of a two-part conversation with former U.S. Representative Earl Pomeroy (D-ND), host Jason Hammersla asks about the process and politics behind comprehensive tax reform, contemporary retirement policy challenges, and the rise of state-based benefits legislation.

Earl Pomeroy currently senior counsel at Alston & Bird LLP and a member of the American Benefit Council’s Board of Directors. Prior, he was President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and later served in the U.S. House of Representatives where he was the senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee.


Episode No. 2: A Closer Look at Repeal-and-Replace with former U.S. Representative Earl Pomeroy

In the first of a two-part conversation with former U.S. Representative Earl Pomeroy (D-ND), host Jason Hammersla discusses the American Health Care Act, the stalled Republican measure to repeal and replace President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. We talk about the substance and the process behind the bill and what’s next for lawmakers as they consider further efforts to reform health policy or perhaps move on to comprehensive tax reform.

Earl Pomeroy currently senior counsel at Alston & Bird LLP and a member of the American Benefit Council’s Board of Directors. Prior, he was President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and later served in the U.S. House of Representatives where he was the senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee.


Episode No. 1: The Future of the Workplace and Employee Benefits with Cam Marston

Cam Marston is the founder and president of Generational Insights, which provides research and consultation on workplace generational issues to companies across the globe. His books, articles, columns and blog describe and analyze the major generations of our time, and how their characteristics and differences affect every aspect of business, including recruiting, retention, management and motivation.

Generational Insights website

Cam Marston official biography