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POLICY INSIGHT
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To Repeat: Medicare Isn’t Going “Bankrupt”

December 5, 2016

House Speaker Paul Ryan is repeating a myth that we and others have debunked before:  that Medicare is running out of money.  “Medicare goes bankrupt in about 10 years,” he said on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” adding that “for the X-...

Affordable Care Act (ACA) Significantly Improved Medicare's Finances

Keep the Increase in Medical Expense Deduction Threshold

September 12, 2016

Repealing the increase in the threshold for deducting medical expenses, as a pending House bill would do, would give a costly, unnecessary tax break to high-income taxpayers.

Taxpayers may claim an itemized income tax deduction for extraordinary medical expenses that exceed a certain threshold.  Health reform increased the...

Dollar Bill

House Republican Health Plan Would Radically Restructure Medicare

July 26, 2016

The health plan from House Republican leaders would raise costs for many or most Medicare beneficiaries by converting Medicare to a premium support system, raising its eligibility age, and...

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Medicare Leads in Controlling Health Costs

July 21, 2016

Medicare has been the leader in reforming the health care payment system to improve efficiency and has outperformed private health insurance in holding down the growth of health costs, as we note in our newly updated report on Medicare’s finances.  Since 1987, Medicare spending per enrollee has grown by 5.7 percent a...

Medicare Spending per Beneficiary Has Grown More Slowly Than Private Insurance

Moving Forward With Medicare’s IPAB

June 24, 2016

Two events this week drew new attention to the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) — a presidentially appointed commission charged with developing ways to slow the growth of Medicare spending.  Medicare’s trustees reported that projected Medicare...

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Previewing the 2016 Social Security and Medicare Trustees’ Reports

June 20, 2016

The Social Security and Medicare trustees will release their annual reports on the programs’ finances Wednesday.  Though we don’t know how the projections may change from last year’s, we expect that they will tell a similar story: that...

Elderly Couple

Medicare Drug Payment Demonstration Should Move Forward

May 5, 2016

Medicare’s proposed demonstration project to test new ways to pay for drugs covered by Part B has generated considerable controversy.  A largely Republican...

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Let’s Try Out New Ways to Pay for Medicare Part B Drugs

April 1, 2016

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing a nationwide five-year demonstration project to test new ways to pay for drugs covered by Medicare Part B.  The goal is to reduce costs to Medicare and its beneficiaries while maintaining or...

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Expert Group Proposes Long-Term Care Financing Reforms

February 22, 2016

Expanding access to high-quality long-term care requires a multi-pronged solution, including a new public long-term care insurance program, improved Medicaid coverage of home and community-based services, and an expanded private insurance market.  These are among the recommendations of a just-released report by a diverse group...

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New CBO Estimates Confirm: Social Security Benefits Are Modest

February 18, 2016

Social Security benefits replace only about 40 percent of an average retiree’s recent earnings, new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates show.  The actuaries at the Social Security Administration (SSA) find a similar result using a different technique.  By either measure, Social Security benefits are...

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