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President Donald Trump and the GOP congressional leaders have talked about modernizing Medicare, including a proposal from House Republicans to create a premium-support system for Medicare.  In the wake of passage of the GOP tax bill, which is expected to add to the national debt, there may be a focus on reining in the cost of entitlement programs such as Medicare, which may have significant implications for the Medicare program and its beneficiaries. The Trump administration also has shown interest in prescription drug spending in Medicare as well as in Medicare delivery system reform efforts such as Accountable Care Organizations, bundled payments and medical homes. Medicare Advantage now covers 1 in 3 Medicare beneficiaries and recent trends toward consolidation among insurers could have implications for beneficiaries.
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Kaiser Health Tracking Poll – November 2017: The Politics of Health Insurance Coverage, ACA Open Enrollment

This month marks the start of the ACA’s fifth open enrollment period and finds three in ten of the public saying they haven’t heard anything at all about the current open enrollment period. Despite their overall views of the ACA, the majority of the public (61 percent) – including most Democrats (71 percent), independents (58 percent), and half of Republicans (52 percent) – say that because President Trump and Republicans in Congress are now in control of the government, they are responsible for any problems with the health care law moving forward. This month’s tracking poll also examines public support for two variations of a Medicare buy-in proposal.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Poll: Half of the Public Would Blame the Trump Administration if Fewer People Enroll in Marketplace Plans This Year, and Most See President Trump and Republicans As Responsible for the ACA‘s Future 

Majorities of Democrats, Independents and Republicans Would Support Allowing People Younger Than Age 65 to Buy into Medicare Half (50%) of the public would say that if fewer people sign up for marketplace plans during this year’s open enrollment, it is mainly due to the Trump Administration, and most Americans…

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FAQs: What’s the Latest on IPAB?

The Independent Payment Advisory Board was authorized by the Affordable Care Act to help slow the growth in Medicare spending. These FAQs address common questions about IPAB, including how it was designed to operate and the implications of eliminating it.

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Compare Proposals to Replace The Affordable Care Act

President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress have committed to repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). How do their replacement proposals compare to the ACA? How do they compare to each other? Includes the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson amendment (introduced 9/13/2017) as well as other proposals from key members of Congress.

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What Are the Implications for Medicare of the American Health Care Act and the Better Care Reconciliation Act?

This issue brief highlights a major implication of the American Health Care Act and Better Care Reconciliation Act for Medicare. Both bills would repeal the Affordable Care Act provision to increase the payroll tax on high-income earners. Repealing this surtax would move up the insolvency date of the Medicare Part A trust fund by 2 years, from 2028 to 2026, and also worsens the program’s long-term financial outlook.

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Comparison of Medicare Provisions in Recent Bills and Proposals to Repeal and Replace the Affordable Care Act

Repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act is a top priority of the Trump Administration and the Republican leadership, which could have implications for the Medicare program. This brief provides a side-by-side comparison of the Medicare-related provisions in six bills and proposals that would repeal the ACA, excluding proposals that would not directly affect Medicare.

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Income and Assets of Medicare Beneficiaries, 2016-2035

This issue brief, co-authored by researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Urban Institute, describes the income, savings, and home equity of current Medicare beneficiaries, considers variations by race, ethnicity and other demographic characteristics, and examines the extent to which income and assets are projected to be higher among the next generation of beneficiaries.

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Aiming for Fewer Hospital U-turns: The Medicare Hospital Readmission Reduction Program

This Issue Brief describes the Medicare Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP), which penalizes hospitals that have relatively higher readmission rates, analyzes the impact of this program on Medicare patients and hospitals, and discusses several issues that have been raised regarding its implementation.

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Health Affairs Blog: Medicare Premium Support Proposals Could Increase Costs for Today’s Seniors, Despite Assurances

In a Health Affairs blog post, Tricia Neuman and Gretchen Jacobson of the Kaiser Family Foundation examine how proposals to convert Medicare to a premium support system could lead to higher Medicare premiums and cost-sharing for seniors currently enrolled in the program, even if today’s seniors are “grandfathered” and the new system is phased-in for people ages 55 and younger. The blog post explains how today’s seniors could face higher health care costs, if older beneficiaries are separated, at least actuarially, from younger ones. Lawmakers could implement policies to prevent cost increases for seniors, but doing so would reduce Medicare savings, a key objective of many premium support proposals.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

The Republican Health-care Plan the Country Isn’t Debating

In this Washington Post op-ed, Drew Altman discusses how Republicans’ ideas to change Medicaid and Medicare and repeal the Affordable Care Act would fundamentally change the federal role in health, calling it: the biggest change in health we are NOT debating.

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