Joint Committee on Taxation Description Of Present Law Relating To Section 501(C)(3) Organizations

Source: Joint Committee on Taxation, JCX-53-07, July 19, 2007

The House Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Oversight, has scheduled a public hearing for July 24, 2007, regarding an overview of tax-exempt charitable organizations.
This document, prepared by the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, provides a brief description of present law provisions relating to organizations described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the “Code”), and provides a summary description of the section 501(c)(3) organization-related provisions of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 and related proposed legislative proposals.

2006 Data Added to the Medicaid Benefits Online Database

Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, August 2007

Kaiser Family Foundation: “The Foundation’s online tool examining Medicaid benefits for all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Territories has been updated with data as of October 2006. The online database allows comparison of Medicaid benefits by state and service with information about benefits covered, limits, co-payments and reimbursement methodologies. Data for 2003, 2004, and 2006 are available.”

A Comprehensive Cure: Universal Health Care Vouchers

Source: Ezekiel J. Emanuel and Victor R. Fuchs, The Brookings Institution (The Hamilton Project), Discussion Paper 2007 – July 11, 2007

The Universal Healthcare Voucher System (UHV) achieves universal health coverage by entitling all Americans to a standard package of benefits comparable to that received by federal employees. Enrollment and renewal are guaranteed regardless of health status, as is the individual’s right to buy additional services beyond the standard benefits with aftertax dollars. Health plans would receive a risk-adjusted payment based on their enrollment. UHV is funded entirely by a dedicated value-added tax (VAT) with the rate set by Congress. A VAT of approximately 10 to 12 percent would insure all Americans under age 65 at a cost no greater than current public and private health care expenditures.

UHV offers true universality, individual choice, effective cost control, and competition based on quality of care and service. To foster accountability and efficient administration, the voucher system creates a National Health Board and twelve regional boards with a governance structure and reporting requirements similar to the Federal Reserve system. The National Board establishes the overall rules and procedures and sponsors an independent Institute for Technology and Outcomes Assessment, which will slow the rate of growth of expenditures by encouraging cost-effective innovations. In each region a Center for Patient Safety and Dispute Resolution replaces the dysfunctional malpractice system. UHV is relatively simple compared with other reforms that have similar objectives. Most importantly, it is congruent with basic American values: equality of opportunity and freedom to pursue personal goals.
+ Related policy brief
+ Presentation
See also:
Achieving Universal Coverage Through Medicare Part E(veryone)
Universal, Effective and Affordable Health Insurance: An Economic Imperative

World Prison Population List, Seventh Edition

Source: Roy Walmsley, International Centre for Prison Studies, Kings College London

Key Points:
● More than 9.25 million people are held in penal institutions throughout the world, mostly as pre-trial detainees (remand prisoners) or as sentenced prisoners. Almost half of these are in the United States (2.19m), China (1.55m plus pre- trial detainees and prisoners in ‘administrative detention’) or Russia (0.87m).
● The United States has the highest prison population rate in the world, some 738 per 100,000 of the national population, followed by Russia (611), St Kitts & Nevis (547), U.S. Virgin Is. (521), Turkmenistan (c.489), Belize (487), Cuba (c.487), Palau (478), British Virgin Is. (464), Bermuda (463), Bahamas (462), Cayman Is. (453), American Samoa (446), Belarus (426) and Dominica (419).
● However, more than three fifths of countries (61%) have rates below 150 per 100,000. (The rate in England and Wales – 148 per 100,000 of the national population – is above the mid-point in the World List.)
● Prison population rates vary considerably between different regions of the world, and between different parts of the same continent.
See also:
The International Centre for Prison Studies
A Human Rights Approach to Prison Management
World Female Prison Population List 2006

Treasury, IRS Issue New Proposed Cafeteria Plan Regulations

Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service, HP-526, August 3, 2007

The Treasury Department and the IRS issued today new proposed regulations for employee benefit plans under Section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code. The plans, called “cafeteria plans,” allow employees to make a choice between receiving taxable cash compensation or tax-free employee benefits, such as health care, dependent care, and other fringe benefits.
The new proposed regulations generally preserve the rules of the existing proposed regulations, while adding clarifications relating to statutory changes and administrative guidance changes since the previous regulations were published. The new regulations also address many issues on which the IRS has previously provided informal guidance.

Growing Older in America: The Health & Retirement Study

Source: Freddi Karp, Editor, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NIH Publication No. 07- 5757, March 2007

There is no question that the aging of America will have a profound impact on individuals, families, and U.S. society. The Health and Retirement Study (HRS), sponsored by the National Institute on Aging under a cooperative agreement with the University of Michigan, follows more than 20,000 men and women over 50, offering insight into the changing lives of the older U.S. population. Launched in 1992, this multidisciplinary, longitudinal study has become known as the Nation’s leading resource for data on the combined health and economic conditions of older Americans.

Growing Older in America: The Health & Retirement Study describes the breadth and depth of the HRS to help familiarize a broad range of researchers; policymakers; media; and organizations concerned with health, economics, and aging with this data resource. Published in 2007, this colorful data book describes the HRS’s development and features and offers a snapshot of research findings based on analyses of the Study’s data. Sections of the report look at older adults’ health, work and retirement, income and wealth, and family characteristics and intergenerational transfers. More than 65 figures and tables illustrate the text.

Pension Plan Freezes Slowing, Watson Wyatt Finds Most Firms Committed to Keeping Plans

Source: Watson Wyatt, July 23, 2007

From the press release:
The rate of pension plan freezes among FORTUNE 1000 firms has slowed, and the majority of companies with defined benefit plans are committed to keeping them. These are the findings of two new studies by Watson Wyatt Worldwide, a leading global consulting firm. An analysis of pension plan sponsorship among FORTUNE 1000 companies shows that the share of plan sponsors freezing their plans dropped from 7 percent in 2006 to 4 percent in 2007. New freezes reached their highest levels in 2006, when 42 additional firms on the FORTUNE 1000 list had frozen plans.

Digest of Education Statistics, 2006

Source: Thomas D. Snyder, Sally A. Dillow, and Charlene M. Hoffman, National Center for Education Statistics, NCES 2007017, July 2007

The 42nd in a series of publications initiated in 1962, the Digest’s primary purpose is to provide a compilation of statistical information covering the broad field of American education from prekindergarten through graduate school. The Digest contains data on a variety of topics, including the number of schools and colleges, teachers, enrollments, and graduates, in addition to educational attainment, finances, and federal funds for education, libraries, and international comparisons.

Child Health USA 2006

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Child Health USA 2006

The Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) is pleased to present Child Health USA 2006, the 17th annual report on the health status and service needs of America’s children. The Bureau’s vision is that of a future nation in which the right to grow to one’s full potential is universally assured through attention to the comprehensive physical, psychological, and social needs of the maternal and child population. To assess the Bureau’s progress toward achieving this vision, MCHB has compiled this book of secondary data for more than 50 health status and health care indicators. It provides both graphical and textual summaries of relevant data, and addresses longterm trends where applicable and feasible.

All of the data discussed within the text of these pages is from the same sources as the information in the corresponding graphs (unless otherwise noted). Data are presented for the target populations of Title V funding: infants, children, adolescents, children with special health care needs, and women of childbearing age. Child Health USA 2006 addresses health status and health services utilization, as well as insight into the nation’s progress toward the goals set out in the MCHB’s strategic plan—to assure quality of care, eliminate barriers and health disparities, and improve the health infrastructure and systems of care.