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Don’t Forget Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries When Improving Drug Benefits

September 4, 2019

Low-income Medicare beneficiaries deserve special attention as Congress considers legislation to make prescription drugs more affordable. Important steps include eliminating cost-sharing for generic drugs for low-income beneficiaries and increasing participation in the Part D low-income drug subsidy.

Medicare beneficiaries with incomes below 150 percent of the federal poverty level are...

In Focus: Poor, Near-Poor Seniors Likelier to Not Take Medication as Prescribed to Save Money

Striking Down ACA Would Weaken Medicare

July 8, 2019

Medicare beneficiaries, providers, and plans could face severe harm if the federal courts allow a district court decision striking down the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to stand. As we...

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CBO: Proposed Rule on Medicare, Medicaid Drug Rebates Would Raise Drug Spending

May 9, 2019

The Trump Administration’s proposed rule that would effectively ban drug rebates in Medicare and Medicaid would raise — not reduce — spending on prescription drugs, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says in a new estimate. Drug...

Medical Supplies

Medicare in the 2020 Trump Budget

March 18, 2019

President Trump’s 2020 budget proposes nearly $600 billion in net Medicare spending reductions over ten years (see table). Most of the proposals...

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Policymakers Shouldn’t Repeal or Further Delay “Cadillac Tax”

March 12, 2019

Congress is facing renewed calls to repeal or further delay the “Cadillac tax” — the excise tax on high-cost health plans. That would be unwise for two reasons: it would lose needed revenue and would set back efforts to slow the growth of health care costs.

The Affordable...

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More Evidence of Post-ACA Slowdown in Health Care Spending

March 7, 2019

New projections from the Medicare actuaries provide fresh evidence that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has helped slow spending growth throughout the nation’s health care sector.

Under the actuaries’ updated projections of...

Health Care Spending Has Grown More Slowly Than Projected

District Court Decision Striking Down ACA Would Undermine Medicare

December 18, 2018

December 19, 2018: We have corrected the list of preventive services for which the ACA eliminated cost-sharing.

If allowed to stand, a U.S. District Court judge’s decision striking down the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would significantly affect Medicare. To be sure, since the legal reasoning behind the decision is...

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House Shouldn’t Delay or Repeal Health-Related Taxes

December 12, 2018

The House may vote on a year-end tax bill that, among other provisions, would delay or repeal four health-related taxes: the 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices, the fee on health insurance providers (the “health insurance tax”), the excise tax on high-cost health insurance plans (...

Medical Device

Medicare Advantage Upcoding, Overpayments Require Attention

October 30, 2018

Private Medicare Advantage (MA) insurers have long received overpayments from Medicare due to their “upcoding,” which makes MA enrollees appear less healthy than they are — and a recent court decision could worsen the problem. As policymakers look to strengthen Medicare, eliminating upcoding should be high on their...

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Expanding Medicare Eligibility Entails Many Design Issues

October 4, 2018

Proposals to expand Medicare have moved to the forefront of debate, with several expansion plans advanced in policy journals or introduced in Congress. Although they vary in scope, all raise numerous technical and program design issues. In a new issue brief for the National Academy of...

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