The COVID-19 recession has highlighted the critical role social insurance policies play in mitigating the hardships that workers and families can experience. The social insurance system includes programs that provide income support; help people secure or afford necessities such as food, housing, and health care coverage; and provide services that improve economic opportunity such as education and job training as well as child care. Policymakers should consider how these programs’ effectiveness could be enhanced, both during economic downturns and in normal economic times.
On Wednesday, June 23, 2021, The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution hosted a webcast examining reforms to the social insurance system. The webcast included opening remarks from former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell, as well as Q&A with former Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors Jason Furman. The webcast also featured a conversation between David Kamin, deputy director of the National Economic Council, Executive Office of the President, and Robert Greenstein, visiting fellow at The Hamilton Project.
The webcast coincided with the release of a new Hamilton Project framing paper that examines the critical role the social insurance system plays in our economy and highlights Hamilton Project policy proposals in this area.