Theodore Marmor

Theodore R. Marmor is a professor in Yale University's School of Management and its Political Science department.

Recent Articles

The Great Social Security Scare

Advocates of privatization are using the financial stress of the baby boomers' retirement to undo the advances that Social Security has brought. Relieving the financial pressures, however, has become a phony excuse for privatization.

T he elite press has urged Americans to be anxious about their Social Security pensions. Newsweek , the New Republic , and the Economist , among others, express a common fear that the system is going bankrupt and dragging down the economy. Polls show that the public supports the principles of Social Security but worries it will not be there when they retire. There is a building sense that the system has somehow not kept up with the changes in the nation's circumstances-in particular the age distribution of the population and the performance of the economy. Peter G. Peterson, the reigning guru of gloom and the angel of the Concord Coalition, summed up these fearful attitudes in a recent feature article in the Atlantic Monthly . On the cover, above the obviously panic-stricken faces of Americans peering over the pension precipice, the headline reads "Social Insecurity: Unless We Act Now, The Aging of America Will Become An Economic Problem That Dwarfs All Other National Issues." We too...

Gingrich's Time Bomb: The Consequences of the Contract

Did anyone read the fine print? The Contract with America has been devilishly constructed with provisions that will set off a fiscal -- and social -- explosion years from now.

T he Republicans' Contract With America is a deceptive document. While its sponsors denounce the welfare state, the Contract itself calls for cuts in only two specific areas: Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and the crime prevention initiatives of the 1994 anti-crime bill. At the same time, the Contract promises a variety of new social benefits in the form of tax breaks. These include tax incentives for adoption and for the purchase of long-term care insurance, an elderly dependent care tax credit, a $500-per-child general tax credit, an increase in the amount of earned income retirees may receive without any reduction in their Social Security payments, and a cut in taxes on Social Security payments for the elderly with incomes over $34,000 (singles) and $44,000 (couples). These new benefits would be equivalent to entitlements that is, no further action by government is necessary to make such benefits available to all eligible individuals. Attacking the welfare state...

Coalition or Collision? Medicare and Health Reform

Budget realities could divide old friends.

T here is a remarkable consensus that the American medical care system needs a major overhaul. The critical unanimity on this point bridges almost all the usual gaps-- between old and young, Democrats and Republicans, management and labor, the well paid and the low paid. We spend more and feel worse than our economic competitors, with nine out of ten Americans telling pollsters health care requires substantial change. This is the good news for medical reformers in the Clinton administration and the Congress. The bad news is that, for a variety of ideological, economic, and institutional reasons, our politics have frustratingly failed to coalesce around a solution that satisfies the reasonable conditions for a medical care system worthy of a civilized society. We have no assurance that the rare agreement on the nation's medical ills will generate the legislative support required for a substantively adequate, workable program of reform. What President Clinton will propose cannot...

Canada's Health Insurance and Ours: The Real Lessons, the Big Choices

Contrary to a well-financed campaign by the AMA, Canada’s record in health care is exemplary. But is a Canadian model feasible in the U.S.?

Canada's Health Insurance and Ours: The Real Lessons, the Big Choices by Theodore R. Marmor and Jerry L. Mashaw As medical costs continue to escalate and more Americans find themselves without insurance, Canada's approach to financing health care has taken center stage in the debate in the United States. Congressional committees have invited Canadian experts to testify, and political organizations have sent parades of representatives on crash study tours to Canada. Leaders of the Chrysler Corporation -- particularly its flamboyant chairman, Lee Iacocca, and Joseph A. Califano, Jr., a board member and former Secretary of Health and Human Services -- have lauded Canada's success. All three television networks, National Public Radio, the major national newspapers, and Consumer Reports have recently done stories on Canadian national health insurance. But the best evidence of the seriousness with which Americans are taking the Canadian model is a concerted attack against it, being financed...