Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #24--March 10, 2000

CAAR (Current Awareness in Aging Research) is a weekly email report produced by the Center for Demography of Health and Aging at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that helps researchers keep up to date with the latest developments in the field. For more information, including an archive of back issues and subscription information see:

http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/cdha/caar/caar-index.htm

=======================================================================

I. Data:

1. HRS/AHEAD: On March 6 and 7, 2000, the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research Health and Retirement Study/Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old website announced several "data alerts" for the HRS 1998 preliminary release and the AHEAD 1995 public release. In addition "Some Hints on Using the 1998 Preliminary Family Data," an expected completion date for HRS 1996 public release, and an AHEAD Wave 2 revised data description have been made available. All information can be linked to from:

http://www.umich.edu/~hrswww/new.html
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

2. CENSUS BUREAU: The Census Bureau has released "1999 State Population Estimates by Age and Sex." Included are eleven tables that contain 1999 data.

http://www.census.gov/population/www/estimates/statepop.html

=======================================================================

II. Reports and articles

3. _AARP BULLETIN_ ARTICLE: "Conflicting Goals Cloud Drug Action," by Patricia Barry (_AARP Bulletin_ Web Edition, March 2000).

http://www.aarp.org/bulletin/mar00/drugs.html
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

4. AARP _MODERN MATURITY_ ARTICLE: "R.I.P. Off," by Beth Baker and Karen Reyes (_Modern Maturity_, March-April 2000).

http://www.aarp.org/mmaturity/mar_apr00/ripoff.html

_Modern Maturity_ Entire Issue:

http://www.aarp.org/mmaturity/home.html
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

5. GAO REPORT: "Social Security Reform: Information on the Archer-Shaw Proposal" (General Accounting Office Report AIMD/HEHS-00-56, January 2000, .pdf format 35p.).

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/a300056.pdf

Note: GAO Internet addresses are valid for only a limited period of time. After that time, documents can be found by searching the Government Printing Office:

http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/aces/aces160.shtml

and searching on title or report number.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

6. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION REPORT AND FACT SHEET:

A. "Prescription Drug Coverage for Medicare Beneficiaries: A Side-by-Side Comparison of Selected Proposals as of February 15, 2000" (Kaiser Family Foundation Document No. 1583, March 2000, .pdf format, 34p.).

>From the Abstract:

This document provides a side-by-side comparison of five major federal proposals that have been considered to provide outpatient prescription drug coverage to Medicare beneficiaries. It begins with a summary table comparing key features of each proposal, followed by a detailed comparison of the following major proposals: Breaux/Frist; Clinton; Kennedy/Stark; Snowe/Pallone; and Bilirakis/Peterson.

http://www.kff.org/content/1999/1541/

click on "Prescription Drug Coverage..." for full text.

B. "Medicare and Prescription Drugs" (Kaiser Family Foundation Fact Sheet, March 2000, .pdf format, 2p.).

http://www.kff.org/content/2000/1583/

click on "Fact Sheet" for full text.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

7. SSA OP POLICY PAPER: "The Impact of Repealing the Retirement Earnings Test on Rates of Poverty," (Social Security Administration Office of Policy Policy Paper, February 2000, HTML and .pdf formats, 9p.).

>From the Abstract:

This paper explains how the retirement earnings test (RET) works, focusing on the differences between the test for beneficiaries at the normal retirement age and above and for beneficiaries aged 62 through the normal retirement age; describes the approach used to estimate the poverty effects of repealing the RET; and provides poverty estimates for repealing the RET.

HTML Format:

http://www.ssa.gov/policy/pubs/policypapers/RET_repeal.pdf

.pdf Format:

http://www.ssa.gov/policy/pubs/policypapers/RET_repeal.pdf
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

8. SSA ADMINISTRATION BUDGET: The Social Security Administration has posted its FY 2001 budget.

http://www.ssa.gov/budget/
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

9. AOA FOCUS GROUP EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "Voices of Women: Perceptions and Planning for Long Term Care Focus Groups," prepared by Mathew Greenwald & Associates, Inc. (February 2000). Note: There is no indication at this time as to the availability of a full report.

http://www.aoa.dhhs.gov/ow/LTC-ExecSum.html
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

10. URBAN INSTITUTE REPORT: "Projecting Retirement Incomes to the Year 2020," by Karen E. Smith and Eric J. Toder (a paper presented at the National Tax Association Meetings, Atlanta, GA, October 26, 1999, .pdf format, 18p.).

>From the Abstract:

This paper presents projections of the distribution of retirement income in the year 2020, based on simulations using the Model of Income in the Near Term (MINT) developed at the Social Security Administration. MINT is a microsimulation model that projects the baseline distribution of income of cohorts born between 1931 and 1960 in the year they begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits and in 2020. This paper presents results from a version of MINT developed by the Urban Institute, the Brookings Institution, and the RAND Corporation under contract to the Social Security Administration.

http://www.urban.org/socsecurity/retirement_income.pdf
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

11. DHHS OIG REPORT: The Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services has released "Improper Fiscal Year 1999 Medicare Fee-For-Service Payments" (A-17-99-01999, February 2000, .pdf format, 19p.).

http://www.hhs.gov/oig/other/a9901999.pdf
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

12. _JAMA_ ARTICLE: "Monitoring Osteoporosis Therapy With Bone Densitometry: Misleading Changes and Regression to the Mean," by Steven R. Cummings, Lisa Palermo, Warren Browner, Robert Marcus, Robert Wallace, Jim Pearson, Terri Blackwell, Stephen Eckert, and Dennis Black (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 283, No. 10, Mar. 8, 2000, p. 1318-1321, HTML and .pdf formats).

>From the Abstract:

Context: The principle of "regression to the mean" predicts that patients with unusual responses to treatment might represent outliers who are likely to have more typical responses if treatment is continued without change. Objective: To test whether women who lose bone mineral density (BMD) during the first year of treatment for osteoporosis continue to lose BMD if the same treatment is continued beyond 1 year. Conclusions: Our data suggest that most women who lose BMD during the first year of treatment with alendronate or raloxifene will gain BMD if the same treatment is continued for a second year. These results illustrate the principle of regression to the mean and suggest that effective treatments for osteoporosis should not be changed because of loss of BMD during the first year of use.

http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v283n10/full/joc91320.html

=======================================================================

III. Working Papers

13. NBER WORKING PAPERS: The National Bureau of Economic Research has released "Guaranteed Income: SSI and the Well-Being of the Elderly Poor," by Kathleen McGarry (W7574, March 2000, .pdf format, 38p.).

>From the Abstract:

Discussions of changes in the Social Security program must necessarily consider the impact of such changes on the well-being of the poor elderly. Under the current system, the financial needs of this population are met by the Supplement Security Income program (SSI). SSI has done much to improve situation of the poorest elderly but has the potential to do more. This paper examines that potential. One of the most surprising aspects of the program is that many of those eligible for benefits are not enrolled. Here I examine the correlates of participation for a sample of eligible individuals and use the results to simulate the effect of changes in eligibility criteria on participation and on costs. The largest expansion considered in the paper, providing an income guarantee for all elderly individuals that is equal to the poverty line, increases payments directed towards the elderly by 90 percent, to just over $8 billion in 1993 dollars. Although large, this $8 billion is less than half of the expenditures for the SSI disabled population in that year. Modifications to SSI that increase income disregards, eliminate the asset test, or base income eligibility solely on Social Security income, would be less costly, but would also provide less relief to the poor. Importantly, all programs, including the current system, could have substantially greater effects on poverty if participation rates were increased.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/w7574

click on "PDF" for full text.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

14. STATISTICS CANADA ANALYTICAL STUDIES BRANCH RESEARCH PAPER: "The Maturation of Canada's Retirement Income System: Income Levels, Income Inequality and Low-Income among the Elderly," by John Myles (11F0019MPE147, March 2000, .pdf format, 27p.).

>From the Abstract:

This paper revisits trends in the level and distribution of income among Canadian seniors in the context of what is arguably the major source of change in these trends since the end of the seventies, the maturation of Canada's public and private earnings-related pension systems. The expanded role of earnings-related pensions in the 1980s and 1990s is largely the result of changes that occurred in the 1950s and 1960s. The Canada and Quebec Pension Plans (C/QPP) were implemented in 1966 and the first cohort to receive full C/QPP benefits turned 65 in 1976. Cohorts retiring after this period were also the beneficiaries of the expansion of private occupational pensions that took place between the 1950s and the 1970s. The author relies on a detailed decomposition of income by source to show that not only did the maturation of these earnings-related programs produce a substantial increase in average real incomes but also to a substantial reduction in income inequality among the elderly, due mainly to C/QPP benefits. Rising real incomes went disproportionately to lower income seniors contributing to the well-known decline in low-income rates among the elderly.

http://www.statcan.ca:80/english/research/11F0019MIE/00147.pdf
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

15. SEOUL (KOREA) NATIONAL UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: "Economic Status of the Elderly in the Era of Industrialization: The Revisionist View Revisited," by Chulhee Lee (Working Paper No. 29, March 2000, .pdf format, 27p.).

http://econ.snu.ac.kr/~ecores/activity/paper/no29.pdf

=======================================================================

IV. Journal Tables of Contents (check your library for availability)

16. Population and Development Review (Vol. 26, No. 1, March 2000). Click on titles for abstracts.

http://www.popcouncil.org/publications/pdr/pdrtoc.html
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

17. CARL Uncover Journal Tables of Contents. Follow the instructions below to access tables of contents. CARL Uncover provides fee based document delivery services for selected journals.

A. Point your browser to:

http://uncweb.carl.org:80/

B. click on "Search Uncover"
C. click on "Search Uncover Now"
D. Type the Journal Name in the search box and click the radio button "Journal Title Browse"
E. click on the journal name
F. click on "journal issues"
G. click on the issues identified below

Demography (Vol. 37, No. 1, February 2000). Note: This journal is available in full text in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and of this issue.

Educational Gerontology (Vol. 26, No. 1, 2000). Note: This journal is available in full text in the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for the availability of this database and of this issue.

Social Work (Vol. 45, No. 2, March 2000). Note: This journal is available in full text in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and of this issue.

=======================================================================

V. Legislation Information Updates

18. SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE SUBCOMMITTEE ON LABOR, HEALTH, AND HUMAN SERVICES, EDUCATION HEARING ON MEDICARE WASTE, FRAUD, & ABUSE: a hearing held Mar. 9, 2000. Testimony of June Gibbs Brown, Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services.

http://www.hhs.gov/oig/testimony/20000309fin.htm
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

19. SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING HEARING:

A. "Colon Cancer: Greater Use of Screenings Would Save Lives," a hearing held Mar. 6, 2000.

http://www.senate.gov/~aging/hr44.htm

The hearing is available for viewing (RealPlayer plug-in or helper application required). Hearing time: 1 hour, 55 minutes, 6 seconds.

http://www.senate.gov/~aging/colon2.ram

B. "Medicare: Few Beneficiaries Use Colorectal Cancer Screening and Diagnostic Services," testimony of William J. Scanlon, Director, Health Financing and Public Health Issues, Health and Human Services Division before the Special Committee on Aging, U.S. Senate (T-HEHS--00-68, Mar. 6, 2000, .pdf format, 16p.).

http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/aces/aces160.shtml

Note: GAO Internet addresses are valid for only a limited period of time. After that time, documents can be found by searching the Government Printing Office:

http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/aces/aces160.shtml

and searching on title or report number.

=======================================================================

VI. Conferences and Workshops

20. CENTER FOR POLICY RESEARCH, MAXWELL SCHOOL OF CITIZENSHIP AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS, SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY: Introducing Public Policy Issues in Aging into the Curriculum, a workshop to be held June 11-15, 2000. Registration deadline is March 31, 2000. The workshop will be limited to 20 people. For more information see:

http://www-cpr.maxwell.syr.edu/gero_ed/

=======================================================================

VII. Websites of Interest

21. NCHS MORTALITY TABLES: The National Center for Health Statistics provides a wealth of information on mortality in the form of tabular reports (.pdf format, ranging from one to over 1,800 pages). "Detailed mortality tables prepared by the Division of Vital Statistics include data on age, race, sex, cause-of-death, life expectancy, and infant mortality. Some of the tables present national-level data, others feature State-level data. Several tables have more than one year of data. A detailed description is provided for each table in the following categories: general mortality, life expectancy, linked infant birth/death files, and population." Of particular interest to researchers in aging may be the Each Cause and 282 Causes of Death by selected age groups and geographies (1993-1997); Deaths and Death Rates by 10-Year Age Groups and Age-Adjusted Death Rates for Alzheimer's Disease by Race and Sex: United States, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996,and 1997; Death Rates by 10-Year Age Groups and Age-Adjusted Death Rates for Alzheimer's Disease by Race and Sex: United States, 1979-97; Abridged Life Table, United States, 1993, 1994, 1995, and 1996; Interpolated Abridged Life Table, United States, 1996; United States Life Tables, 1997; and United States Population by Age, Race, and Sex, 1960-69, 1970-79, 1980-89, and 1990-97.

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/datawh/statab/unpubd/mortabs.htm

Jack Solock
Data Librarian--Center for Demography and Ecology
4470 Social Science
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI 53706
608-262-9827
jsolock@ssc.wisc.edu