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The Role of Medicare and Beneficiaries in the Deficit-Reduction Debate

This Kaiser Family Foundation briefing examined how Medicare reform options now under consideration might work and their implications for beneficiaries and taxpayers. As context for understanding the potential effects of reforms, the briefing looked at the current and projected income and assets of people on Medicare, out-of pocket health care spending and the ability of Medicare beneficiaries to absorb rising costs. The Foundation also released a new report and video profiling Medicare families and the burden of health care costs in their lives.

The workshop featured a conversation with two former administrators of the Health Care Financing Administration (now the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services): Bruce Vladeck, who served under President Clinton, and Gail Wilensky, who served under President George H.W. Bush. Foundation Senior Vice President Tricia Neuman, executive director of the Kaiser Program on Medicare Policy, will moderate the discussion, with Foundation Medicare researchers Juliette Cubanski and Gretchen Jacobson presenting key findings.

The briefing is a product of the Foundation’s Project on Medicare’s Future, focused on producing timely and authoritative analysis of leading Medicare deficit reduction options and other reforms affecting people on Medicare, and on informing the debate about the future of the Medicare program.

Report: Living Close to the Edge: Financial Challenges and Tradeoffs for People on Medicare

icon_video_audio.gif Documentary: Making Ends Meet: The Medicare Generation

Materials from the June 28, 2011, briefing:

pdf-icon Agenda

pdf-icon Participant Bios

pdf-icon Jacobson Slides

icon_video_audio.gif Video 

podcasticon.gif Podcast

pdf-icon Transcript