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Public Policy: Medicare
4/17/2014

Since passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Republicans have accused Democrats who voted for health care reform of "cutting" Medicare. At the same time, Republicans in the House of Representatives have supported four Republican budget resolutions, introduced by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), that retain the same savings in Medicare spending while repealing the Affordable Care Act's Medicare improvements.
4/7/2014

The House Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2015, H. Con. Res. 96, was introduced by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) on April 4, 2014.  The budget proposes drastic cuts in federal spending for programs of importance to most low- and middle-income Americans while proposing tax breaks to benefit the very wealthy and large profitable corporations.  This paper summarizes some of the key proposals in the House Republican FY 2015 budget that would affect seniors and people with disabilities who rely on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. 
4/7/2014

The House Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2015, H. Con. Res. 96, was introduced by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) on April 4, 2014.  It would end traditional Medicare, make it harder for seniors to choose their own doctors, and increase health care costs for both current and future retirees.  The House Republican budget ends traditional Medicare and achieves savings for the federal government by shifting costs to Medicare beneficiaries.

4/3/2014

Established under the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, the Medicare prescription drug benefit — also known as Medicare Part D — is voluntary insurance that Medicare beneficiaries can purchase to help cover the costs of their prescription drugs.  In 2013, about 68 percent (over 35 million) of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in a Part D plan.

4/3/2014

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), signed into law on March 23, 2010, aims to provide greater access to health care coverage, improve the quality of services delivered and reduce the rate of increase in health spending.  The ACA provides new ways to help hospitals, doctors and other health care providers coordinate care for beneficiaries so that health care quality is improved and unnecessary spending reduced.  Many seniors are already benefiting from provisions of the law such as receiving preventive services and paying lower Medicare prescription drug costs.  Below are some of the ways that the Affordable Care Act is helping seniors.

3/6/2014

On March 4, 2014, President Obama submitted his Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 budget to the Congress. The budget proposes a total spending level of $1.014 trillion in FY 2015. This paper summarizes some of the key proposals affecting seniors in the President's FY 2015 budget.
11/19/2013

Medicare is the principal source of health insurance coverage for over 50 million Americans, including over 8 million disabled workers who have been receiving Social Security benefits for two years or longer. For over 48 years, since the program's inception in 1965, America’s seniors have been able to count on receiving Medicare when they reach age 65. But now, some in Washington who are looking for ways to reduce federal spending want to make seniors wait for up to two additional years - to age 67 - in order to qualify for Medicare.
11/19/2013

Congressional deliberations about how to address the nation's long-term deficit, as well as how to pay for preventing a reduction in payments to physicians, include proposals for means testing Medicare - that is, requiring higher-income beneficiaries to pay more of Medicare's costs.
10/10/2013

Medicare beneficiaries are being denied access to Medicare’s skilled nursing facility (SNF) benefit because acute care hospitals are increasingly classifying their patients as “outpatients” receiving observation services, rather than admitting them as inpatients. Patients are called outpatients despite the fact that they may stay for many days and nights in hospital beds and receive medical and nursing care, diagnostic tests, treatments, medications, and food, just as
they would if they were inpatients. Under the Medicare statute, however, patients must have an inpatient hospital stay of three or more consecutive days, not counting the day of discharge, in order to meet Medicare criteria for coverage of post-acute care in a SNF.
9/20/2013

Hispanic-Americans, the largest and fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States, are likely to have more chronic or serious health conditions than White Americans yet face several barriers in accessing health care coverage.  The guaranteed health coverage offered by Medicare and Medicaid is, therefore, especially important to the Hispanic community and they have a huge stake in protecting, improving and strengthening Medicare and Medicaid.
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