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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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.

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.

Do You Have the Facts About Medicare’s Financial Outlook for the Future?

Medicare is likely to be back on the federal policy agenda this year as Congress and President Trump pursue repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, and potentially consider options to reduce federal spending. When talking about Medicare, the nation’s federal health insurance program for 57 million people age 65…

10 Essential Facts About Medicare’s Financial Outlook

Medicare, the nation’s federal health insurance program for 57 million people age 65 and over and younger people with disabilities, often plays a major role in federal health policy and budget discussions. Medicare is likely to be back on the federal policy agenda as Congress debates repealing and replacing the ACA, and also if policymakers turn their attention to reducing entitlement spending as part of efforts to reduce the growing federal budget deficit and debt. This issue brief presents 10 facts and figures about Medicare’s financial status today and the outlook for the future.

Private Contracts Between Doctors and Medicare Patients: Key Questions and Implications of Proposed Policy Changes

Changes in Medicare’s private contracting laws could have significant implications for beneficiaries, doctors, and the Medicare program. This brief summarizes the three options that physicians and practitioners currently have for charging Medicare patients, explains how private contracting works in Medicare under current law, and reviews current proposals on changes to private contracting in Medicare, as well as their implications for patients, physicians, and the Medicare program.

Medicare’s Future

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…

What Might a Repeal of the Affordable Care Act Mean for Medicare?

As Republican policymakers consider how to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), they are likely to face a number of decisions about whether to retain any of the law’s changes to Medicare. Repealing the ACA has potential implications for Medicare spending, beneficiaries, and other stakeholders, according to a…

How the Republican Health Agenda Could Play Out

In this Wall Street Journal Think Tank column Drew Altman discusses how Republicans will assume ownership of health care’s policy and political problems as they assume control, and how that may affect their plans for the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid and Medicare.