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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.

Medicare and the Federal Budget: Comparison of Medicare Provisions in Recent Federal Debt and Deficit Reduction Proposals

This brief provides a side-by-side comparison of Medicare provisions included in broad-based packages to reduce the deficit and debt put forward by the President and the Chairmen of the House and Senate Budget Committees. In addition, this brief summarizes Medicare provisions included in other deficit- and debt- reduction proposals released since January 2012 and describes recent activities that pertain to Medicare and the federal budget, including Medicare’s role in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the fiscal cliff and sequestration.

Adding an Out-of-Pocket Spending Maximum to Medicare: Implementation Issues and Challenges

In an effort to simplify Medicare’s cost-sharing requirements, provide beneficiaries with catastrophic protection, and achieve program savings, some have proposed to restructure Medicare’s benefit design. Several recent proposals would create a unified deductible for Medicare Parts A and B, simplify cost-sharing requirements above the deductible, and add an annual limit on beneficiary out-of-pocket spending—a benefit feature typical of larger employer plans, but lacking in traditional Medicare. This issue brief describes the options for adding an out-of-pocket spending limit to Medicare and examines the operational issues that could arise in implementing both a uniform and an income-based out-of-pocket spending limit. Because the implementation of an income-related out-of-pocket maximum would pose somewhat greater complexity for Medicare, the operational issues associated with this approach are discussed in greater detail.

Health Care on a Budget: The Financial Burden of Health Spending by Medicare Households

The Medicare program offers health and financial protection to nearly 50 million seniors and younger people with disabilities, though many beneficiaries still face significant out-of-pocket expenses. This analysis examines how much Medicare households spend on health-related expenses compared to other spending priorities and compared to non-Medicare households, the extent to which Medicare households’ health spending as a share of household budgets varies by age and poverty level, and changes in Medicare households’ health spending over time.

Income-Related Premiums in Medicare: Who Pays, and How Much Do They Pay?

Since 2007, seniors with incomes greater than $85,000 have had to pay higher premiums for Medicare than their counterparts with lower incomes.  Six percent of Medicare Part B enrollees are expected to pay higher monthly premiums in 2015, ranging from $147 to $336, depending on their income.  Lawmakers on Capitol…

Why Medicaid Work Requirements Aren’t the Same as Welfare Reform

Drawing on his experience in state welfare reform, Drew Altman, in his Axios column, discusses how new state Medicaid work requirements differ fundamentally from welfare reform, which was built on the idea of a “reciprocal obligation” between both beneficiaries and government to do more.