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Public Policy: Medicare
5/12/2017

Nearly 51 years ago Medicare - one of our nation's most popular and successful programs - was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson.  Since then, Medicare has helped lift generations of Americans out of poverty.  Before the enactment of Medicare in 1965, only 50 percent of seniors had health insurance and 35 percent lived in poverty. 
5/12/2017

Congressional deliberations about how to reduce federal Medicare spending, or how to pay for other priorities, include proposals for further means testing Medicare - that is, requiring higher-income beneficiaries to pay more of Medicare's costs.
3/14/2017

On March 13, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an estimate on the budget impact of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which recently passed the House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees. According to CBO’s projections, over the next decade, 24 million people will lose health insurance under the proposed legislation compared to current law.

3/10/2017

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), signed into law on March 23, 2010, has improved benefits and the quality of care provided to Medicare beneficiaries while reducing out-of-pocket costs and extending the solvency of the Part A trust fund by 11 years, to 2028. 
3/8/2017

The Affordable Care Act is a highly complex piece of legislation that includes benefit increases for seniors, makes improvements that help to contain health care costs, and extends the solvency of the Medicare Part A trust fund.  To follow is a summary of how the House ACA repeal legislation would undermine the enhanced health security provided to seniors and people with disabilities by the health care reform law.

3/7/2017

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. As a result, although the care received by patients in observation status is the same as the care received by inpatients, outpatients who need follow-up care in a SNF do not qualify for Medicare coverage. Hospital stays classified as observation, regardless of their length and the type or number of services provided, are considered outpatient. These hospital stays do not currently qualify patients for Medicare-covered care in a SNF; only inpatient time counts.

2/1/2017

Fast Facts about Medicare

1/14/2017

Strengthening Social Security & Medicare, Opposing Privatization, Defending Affordable Care Act top NCPSSM’s 2017 Legislative Agenda.

10/6/2016

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 2016, about 72 percent (nearly 41 million) of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in a Part D plan.

8/16/2016

Medicare Part D is a voluntary prescription drug benefit for Medicare beneficiaries that was established in 2003 under the Medicare Modernization Act. Prior to this law, Medicare did not offer a prescription drug benefit. In 2015, over 39 million Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in a Part D plan.

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Paul Ryan's Medicare Privatization Scheme Edging Closer to Reality

Paul Ryan’s dystopian dream of privatizing Medicare may soon come true. At least he seems to think so. In an interview with right-wing Wisconsin radio host Vicki McKenna, the House Speaker said that Medicare “reform” is coming to the Capitol this Spring. “I’m pretty sure the budget committee in the House will pass that on in the House Republican budget,” Ryan said. In fact, House Budget Committee Chair Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has already promised to include Medicare privatization in the budget process later this month. This is scary news for millions of current and future retirees.

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