Judith Feder

Judith Feder is professor of public policy at Georgetown University and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.

Recent Articles

The Opportunities of CLASS

A new insurance program for long-term care holds great possibilities -- and challenges.

Establishing national responsibility for affordable health insurance was a monumental and much debated achievement. But deep within the health-reform legislation it passed last March, Congress also did something else extraordinary with hardly any fanfare: It enacted a new federal long-term-care insurance program called the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act. As a public program directly run by the government, CLASS resembles Social Security and Medicare, yet it differs in critical ways that pose significant challenges for implementation. CLASS is a voluntary program that will need to enroll a broad portion of the population in order to spread its costs as widely as possible. The start-up will therefore demand wide publicity. And because CLASS is to be financed entirely from premiums rather than taxes, the program will also require tough-minded decisions about eligibility and benefits to stay financially sound. The need for long-term care -- for extended help in...

Can Medicare Survive Its Saviors?

Turning Medicare into a voucher program would make it a dwindling basis of security in old age.

It is now an open question whether Medicare will provide adequate health coverage to the baby-boom generation as it begins turning 65 just over a decade from now. The source of uncertainty is not whether America has the resources to sustain the program; we do. The real challenge comes instead from proposals to save Medicare. Far from preserving its benefits, the major restructuring proposals under discussion would radically alter the principles on which Medicare rests and erode the protection it affords. The enactment of Medicare in 1965 reflected political support for three fundamental principles regarding health care for the elderly. We decided then that insurance is the right way to spread the risk to the elderly of sizable health care costs, that redistributing income through the tax system is necessary to make that insurance affordable and universal, and that the insurance and taxes are best administered by the federal government if the system is to serve all of the elderly...