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New Report on the “Rising Cost of Living Longer” Details Medicare Spending by Age

A new report, The Rising Cost of Living Longer: Analysis of Medicare Spending by Age for Beneficiaries in Traditional Medicare, from the Kaiser Family Foundation takes a detailed look at per person Medicare spending by age and by service among the nearly 30 million people covered by traditional Medicare in 2011

The Status of Funding for Zika: The President’s Request, Congressional Proposals, & Final Funding

This issue brief provides a landscape of the status of U.S. funding for Zika, a mosquito-transmitted infection that in pregnant women can cause microcephaly as well as other serious birth defects. The brief compares the Congressionally approved Zika funding levels, which provides $1.1 billion to the Zika response, to the President’s February 22nd request, the House and Senate bills that passed each chamber in May, and a Conference Agreement that had been approved by the House in June, but was blocked in the Senate and opposed by the Administration.

How Much Has Medicare Spent on the EpiPen Since 2007?

This data note examines the effects of rising EpiPen prices on Medicare and beneficiaries. We analyze EpiPen spending, in the aggregate and per user, in Medicare Part D between 2007 (the year after the Part D drug benefit took effect, and the year Mylan acquired the product) and 2014 (the most recent year of data available).

Reading the Tea Leaves on U.S. Global Health Policy

In this Policy Insight, Jen Kates and Josh Michaud look at the prospects for the future of U.S. global health policy, examining whether long-term bipartisan support may be tested during a time of political transition, and identifying key areas of consensus among policymakers and the public.

Modifying Medicare’s Benefit Design: What’s the Impact on Beneficiaries and Spending?

This report examines an approach to reforming Medicare that has been a focus of Congressional hearings and featured in several broader debt reduction and entitlement reform proposals, and was included in the June 2016 House Republican health plan. The analysis models four different options for modifying Medicare’s benefit design, all of which include a single deductible, modified cost-sharing requirements, a new cost-sharing limit, and a prohibition on first-dollar Medigap coverage. The analysis models the expected effects on out-of-pocket spending by beneficiaries in traditional Medicare, and assesses how each option is expected to affect spending by the federal government, state Medicaid programs, employers, and other payers, assuming full implementation in 2018.

Modifying Traditional Medicare’s Benefit Design Could Reduce Federal Spending But With Cost Tradeoffs Between Beneficiaries and The Federal Government

Revamping traditional Medicare’s benefit design and restricting “first-dollar” supplemental coverage could reduce federal spending, simplify cost sharing, protect against high medical costs, decrease out-of-pocket spending for many beneficiaries, and provide more help to those with low incomes — but would be unlikely to achieve all of these goals simultaneously.

Americans’ Views on the U.S. Role in Global Health

The Kaiser Family Foundation has tracked public opinion on global health issues in-depth since 2009. This most recent survey examines views on U.S. spending on health in developing countries and perceptions of barriers and challenges to making progress on the issue. Two-thirds of Americans (65 percent) overall and majorities of Democrats, independents and Republicans alike, say that the United States should play at least a major role in world affairs, including roughly one in five overall (18 percent) who say the U.S. should take the leading role. The survey also finds a general skepticism on the part of the American people when it comes to the effectiveness of global health spending, with seven in ten saying the “bang for the buck” of U.S. spending in this area is only fair or poor, and more than half believing that spending more on global health efforts won’t lead to meaningful progress (a share that has grown since 2012). Although many Americans have concerns about the value of global health spending, six in ten say the U.S. spends too little (26 percent) or about the right amount (34 percent) on global health, and three in ten say it spends too much. Most also recognize benefits to such spending, both for Americans at home as well as for people and communities in developing countries.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.