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Congress is on recess, but we can’t be – the health care repeal debate continues!  In their home states and through tough, ongoing negotiations, Senators are making up their minds about the future of the ACA, Medicaid, and Medicare.  This CMA Alert provides updated “Myths & Facts” about the most recent potential changes to the … Read more

Facts should be key to participating in the debate about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its future. To help separate what is true from what is often stated, we offer the following Myths and Facts. ACA Myths ACA Facts Affordability The ACA makes it too hard for middle-income Americans to purchase insurance in the … Read more

As we approach a new year, a new Administration and a new session of Congress, the catastrophic risks to health care coverage include threats to repeal the Affordable Care Act – without an agreed-upon replacement, turning Medicaid into a block grant or per capita cap program, and further privatizing Medicare. Several recently-issued/updated reports underscore some … Read more

The President-Elect and Republican leaders in Congress have promised to repeal, and at some point, “replace” the Affordable Care Act.  They also plan to gut the Medicaid program by imposing block granting or per-capita caps.  Speaker Ryan, Trump’s nominee for HHS Secretary Rep. Price, and many others in Congress also want to further privatize Medicare … Read more

Center for Medicare Advocacy Executive Director Judith Stein was featured in the New York Times "Room for Debate" this week defending the traditional Medicare program against efforts to privatize and weaken it. Under Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan, individuals would be given a set amount to help pay premiums for insurance on the open market. This … Read more

Medicare is not in crisis. It is on solid financial footing, and, in fact, is stronger than was predicted before the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. Medicare Part A is mostly paid for with payroll taxes which go into a trust fund. Prior to the enactment of the ACA, the Part A trust fund … Read more

Speaker Paul Ryan is already in the news saying that because of “Obamacare” Medicare is “going broke” (Fox News, 11/13/2016). As a consequence, he says, he intends to bring back his plan to privatize Medicare and change it into a voucher system. Under his plan, individuals would be given a set amount to help pay premiums … Read more

Caution Advocates have seen an increase in the number of Medicare beneficiaries who have delayed enrolling in Medicare Part B, thinking, erroneously, that because they are paying for and receiving continued health coverage under COBRA, they do not have to enroll in Medicare Part B.[1]  COBRA-qualified beneficiaries who have delayed enrollment in Medicare Part B … Read more

In the spirit of aiding the discussion concerning the budget and the SGR “Doc Fix,” we raise many of the myths surrounding Medicare and answer them with facts. Congress is working to repeal and replace the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) — also known as the “Doc Fix.”  The House version of the SGR bill asked too … Read more

Today, the Medicare Trustees issued their annual report on Medicare's financial status.   According to this year's report, the Part A (Hospital Insurance) Trust Fund has sufficient reserves to fully pay Medicare benefits until 2026 – two more years than projected in last year's report.  Since 1970, the Trustees have projected the Medicare Trust Fund would … Read more

In the midst of ongoing budget discussions, policymakers are considering a wide array of approaches for cutting spending and saving federal dollars. The Center for Medicare Advocacy recently wrote of ways to strengthen the Medicare program while achieving significant savings.[1] Included in our analysis was a proposal that would save taxpayers billions of dollars: reinstating … Read more

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is beginning to rein in Medicare Advantage (MA) overpayments by bringing MA payment more in line with what traditional Medicare spends on a given beneficiary.  The insurance industry is not only fighting this payment reform, but has launched a campaign against a 2.3% reduction in payment projected for 2014.[1]   This … Read more

Statement of Judith Stein, Executive Director, Center for Medicare Advocacy Nothing new. Paul Ryan’s “new” budget proposal recycles ideas that will harm older people, people with disabilities, families and Medicare. It is a plan about a governing philosophy, not about saving money, preserving Medicare, or reducing the national deficit. We know we need action to … Read more

A new study out this month in the Annals of Family Medicine highlights the reality facing many people with health insurance and Medicare and their families: high out-of-pocket costs and cost-sharing.  These costs have a considerable effect on their household budgets and decisions about their care.[1] The study explored the social, medical, financial, and legal … Read more

In the past few weeks, the media spotlight on the country's fiscal issues has led to a flurry of attacks on Medicare.[1] Pundits and some policymakers decry Medicare spending as "the largest driver of the federal debt" and argue that the program on which millions of American families rely is unsustainable and must be radically … Read more

The Center for Medicare Advocacy has represented Medicare beneficiaries since 1986. As one of the few advocacy organizations in the nation solely serving Medicare beneficiaries, we strongly oppose home health episodic payment caps or any other such defined payment limits. The counterpart to this notion, caps on outpatient therapy, has created significant barriers to necessary … Read more

As students head back to campus and election season moves into full swing, young voters will be in the spotlight. While Medicare has been at the forefront of national discourse, in the media and on the campaign trail, much of the discussion has neglected young Americans under the assumption that they aren't affected by, or … Read more

According to researchers from the Urban Institute, writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, Medicare's purported dire financial condition isn’t actually all that dire.  Given the aging of our population, increases in enrollment have obviously contributed to spending growth. But, according to the Urban Institute, “in recent years "spending growth per enrollee slowed in … Read more

Medicare has been front and center in the media and on the campaign trails this week. As part of our Medicare Truth Squad efforts to debunk myths and claims about the Medicare program, today we focus our attention on a pervasive myth that keeps going around. Some policymakers, candidates, and members of the media have … Read more

Medicare Trustees issued their annual report on Medicare's financial status on April 23, 2012.  According to this year's report, the Hospital Insurance (Part A) Trust Fund has sufficient reserves to pay out the full amount of Medicare Part A benefits until 2024 – the same projection made in last year's report.  Should nothing else change, … Read more

The nearly nine million Medicare beneficiaries who are also eligible for some form of Medicaid, the so-called dual eligibles, are the subject of federal, state and local policy discussions because many of them are among the highest users of health care services in the country and thus are very costly to both Medicare and Medicaid.  … Read more

Nearly one in five Medicare beneficiaries rely on Medicare Supplemental insurance policies (Medigap) to fill in the gaps of some of their Medicare coverage.  As noted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, "Medigap policies help shield beneficiaries from sudden, relatively high out-of-pocket costs due to an unpredictable medical event, and also allow beneficiaries to more accurately … Read more

  Policymakers and pundits continue to propose Medicare changes that would have severe repercussions for beneficiaries and their families. These proposals will continue to make news as deficit discussions heat up.  Too often, however, they are based on false information, which is repeated as fact by the media, pundits and policymakers. We aim to correct public misinformation about Medicare.  … Read more

Congress continues to propose Medicare changes that will have severe repercussions for beneficiaries and their families. Policymakers and pundits are feeding the media and the public misinformation about Medicare. The truth is, most people with Medicare are low-income and most pay more for health care than other insured Americans.  Nonetheless, Medicare Works. For 46 years it has … Read more

  Congress continues to propose Medicare changes that will have severe repercussions for beneficiaries and their families. Policymakers and pundits are feeding the media and the public misinformation about Medicare. The truth is, most people with Medicare are low-income and most pay more for health care than other insured Americans.  Nonetheless, Medicare Works. For 46 years it … Read more

Once again the House of Representatives’ leadership are proposing to change Medicare into a private voucher system. Their proposals would have severe repercussions for Medicare beneficiaries and their families.[1] Sound solutions that would preserve Medicare coverage while reducing costs are still not being seriously addressed.  With the President on record as recommending that we lower Medicare's … Read more