On Tuesday, June 3, 2014, the National Academy of Social Insurance presented the 2014 Robert M. Ball Award for Outstanding Achievements in Social Insurance to Marilyn Moon, Institute Fellow and Director of the Center on Aging at the American Institutes for Research (AIR).
The Academy was pleased to honor Marilyn Moon for her extraordinary record of public service and effectiveness in furthering public understanding of Medicare and its role in our nation’s social insurance system, including its interaction with Medicaid and Social Security. Moon’s tireless efforts to strengthen Medicare and social insurance programs – particularly those affecting the elderly and economically insecure members of our communities – are especially important today as policymakers grapple with social insurance policy reforms and their impact on households.
The event was attended by over 200 policy, research, advocacy, and business leaders, including the Honorable Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and former Congressman Bill Gradison.
Each year, the Robert M. Ball Award is presented to an individual whose recent work has made a significant impact on the U.S. social insurance system. Recipients of this award have demonstrated:
- Innovation in changing, education about or otherwise furthering public understanding and informed policymaking in a specific area of social insurance; and
- Effectiveness in deepening public understanding, fostering collaboration, informing policy, implementing policy, or teaching others about social insurance.
2014 Ball Award Selection Committee
- Judy Feder, Committee Chair; Professor, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University
- Stephen Goss, Chief Actuary, Social Security Administration
- Margaret Simms, Institute Fellow, Urban Institute
- Jeanette Takamura, Dean and Professor of Gerontology and Social Policy, Columbia University
About Robert M. Ball
No individual has done more to advance American social insurance programs than Robert M. Ball. From his early appointment in a field office to his selection as Commissioner of Social Security by President Kennedy in 1962, to advisory roles in each of the following presidential administrations, Bob Ball sought a balance between political pragmatism and his determination to protect the principles of social insurance. He was the single most influential individual in advancing American social insurance programs for over 60 years.
Bob Ball served as Commissioner of Social Security from 1962 to 1973. He also played a crucial role in the origin of Medicare in 1965, and then successfully carried out the ambitious task of implementing the program. Ball founded the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) in 1986 and continued to advise presidential administrations and policy-makers and to write on Social Security, Medicate, national health insurance and welfare until his death in January 2008 at the age of 93. Bob Ball’s greatest gift was his ability to persuade policymakers in countless contexts to put aside partisanship for the sake of posterity.
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