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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...


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...


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...


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...

Nursing home

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...

Social Security Cards

Obama’s “Cadillac Tax” Changes Deserve Serious Look

February 4, 2016

The President’s 2017 budget will recommend improvements in the “Cadillac tax” — the excise tax on high-cost health insurance plans.  While some suggest repealing the tax, reforming it to preserve most of its revenues and its ability to slow health care cost growth makes far more sense.  The President’s proposal, which Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Jason Furman and the Council’s Chief...

Health - Money and Stethoscope

Don’t Repeal Health-Related Taxes

February 1, 2016

Permanent repeal of three health-related taxes, which last year’s budget deal postponed or suspended, would cost the federal government more than $250 billion over the next decade, new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates show — and almost certainly much more in decades to follow.   

The three health-related taxes are the excise...

Cost of Repealing Health-Related Taxes Grows Rapidly

Reports Overstate Reach of “Cadillac Tax”

December 17, 2015

Recent press reports citing a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis seriously exaggerate the expected impact of health reform’s excise tax on high-cost health plans (or “Cadillac tax”), which this week’s...

Excise Tax on High-Cost Health Plans Will Have Limited Initial Impact

National Health Spending Growth Remains on Slow Track

December 2, 2015

The nation’s health spending continues to grow more slowly than before health reform, figures that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released today show.  Total health spending by governments, private insurers, and individuals grew by 5.3 percent last year, well below the average 6.9...

Health Care Bills