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Pulling it Together: The People Behind The Entitlement Debate

Well before we have any clarity on the impact of the election on health reform, the pundits are handicapping the prospects of efforts to make a serious dent in the national debt and deficit.  Three national commissions are hammering out recommendations for reducing the debt and reining in entitlement spending,…

Implications Of A Federal Block Grant Program For Medicaid

This issue brief examines the broad implications of converting Medicaid to block grant financing, one of several ideas that have been put forth to help reduce the federal deficit. The paper, which does not analyze any specific proposal, notes that switching to block grant financing would fundamentally alter the Medicaid…

Proposed Changes to Medicare in the “Path to Prosperity”: Overview and Key Questions

This brief examines key Medicare provisions included in “The Path to Prosperity: Restoring America’s Promise,” a long-term budget proposal released by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan on April 5, 2011, which outlines a strategy for reducing federal spending and reducing the national debt over time. The Medicare provisions are among…

The Budget Control Act of 2011: Implications for Medicare

Beginning January 2013, Medicare spending will be subject to automatic, across-the-board reductions, known as “sequestration,” which is slated to reduce Medicare payments to plans and providers by up to 2 percent. This sequestration results from provisions in the Budget Control Act of 2011, which raised the debt ceiling and will…

A Primer on Medicare Financing

As Congress and the Administration increasingly focus on the nation’s budget deficit, many policy experts and several bipartisan deficit reduction panels have proposed significant changes to Medicare to reduce federal spending and address rising health care costs. This primer provides an overview of Medicare spending trends, how the program is…

Medicare Advantage 2010 Data Spotlight: Plan Availability and Premiums

This data spotlight examines changes in the availability and premiums of private Medicare Advantage options for Medicare beneficiaries in 2010 as the annual open enrollment period begins. While the number of plans available in 2010 declined somewhat from 2009, the analysis finds that Medicare beneficiaries on average have 33 Medicare…

Medicare Prescription Drug Plans In 2010 and Key Changes Over Five Years

This brief summarizes key findings from the full collection of 2010 Part D Data Spotlights examining key trends in the private stand-alone drug plans available to Medicare beneficiaries. The spotlight is one in a series analyzing key aspects of the Medicare Part D drug plans that will be available to…

Explaining Health Reform: Medicare and the New Independent Payment Advisory Board

This brief describes how the new board created under the 2010 health reform law is expected to limit the growth in Medicare spending over time. Starting in 2014, if projected per capita Medicare spending exceeds targets set in the law, the board must recommend ways to reduce Medicare spending, while…

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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.