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Medicare And Medicaid At 50

Medicare and Medicaid were signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on July 30, 1965 in a bipartisan effort to provide health insurance coverage for low-income, disabled, and elderly Americans. In their 50 year history, each of these programs has come to play a key role in providing health coverage to millions of Americans today and make up a significant component of federal and state budgets. As major programs both in size and scope, their role and the ways in which they operate are often debated by policymakers and the public alike. As the programs reach their 50th year, the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a nationally representative survey of Americans to explore the public’s views of these programs, their experiences as beneficiaries, and their opinions on proposals for future changes.

Medicare and Medicaid at 50

With Medicare and Medicaid turning 50 this year, this updated video provides a brief history of both programs, including: an examination of the health care, social and political landscape that gave rise to them, the significant ways each program has evolved over five decades, and the important roles they play in the U.S. health care system. The video includes archival footage, as well as commentary and perspective from policymakers, government officials and experts.

Newly Insured Californians Report Easier Access to Care Than the Uninsured

Low-income California adults who gained insurance coverage in 2014 had an easier time accessing health care than those who were uninsured and increased financial protection from medical bills, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) report. The report, funded by the Blue Shield of California Foundation and based on…

With Medicare and Medicaid Getting High Marks from the Public and Beneficiaries, Majorities Favor Status Quo over Major Structural Changes Such As Premium Supports or Block Grants

Among Medicare Changes, Strongest and Broadest Support Is for Negotiating Drug Prices People With Medicare, Medicaid and Employer Plans Give Their Coverage Similar Ratings, But Some Report Affordability and Physician Access Problems Fifty years after President Lyndon Johnson signed the law creating the Medicare and Medicaid programs, a new Kaiser…

How Have State Medicaid Expansion Decisions Affected the Experiences of Low-Income Adults? Perspectives from Ohio, Arkansas, and Missouri

This brief examines the experiences of low-income adults in three states that have made varied Medicaid expansion decisions: Ohio, which adopted the ACA Medicaid expansion, Arkansas which implemented the Medicaid expansion through a “Private Option” waiver, and Missouri, which has not adopted the expansion. While Arkansas and Ohio implemented the expansion in different ways, participants in both states described how obtaining coverage improved their ability to access care, contributing to improvements in their ability to work and family relationships. In contrast, participants in Missouri remained uninsured limiting their ability to obtain needed care, creating significant stress and anxiety in their lives, and interfering with their ability to work and care for their families.

Medicare Spending Cuts and Hospital Productivity Gains

In this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman and guest co-author Dana Goldman examine hospital productivity gains, and what they may mean for hospitals’ ability to absorb spending reductions.

Medicare Spending Cuts and Hospital Productivity Gains

In his latest column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman and guest co-author Dana Goldman examine hospital productivity gains, and what they may mean for hospitals’ ability to absorb spending reductions. All previous columns by Drew Altman are available online.

Awaiting New Medicaid Managed Care Rules: Key Issues to Watch

More than half of all Medicaid beneficiaries now receive their services in risk-based managed care plans, and states’ use of managed care is expanding. States operate their own Medicaid managed care programs within federal rules and requirements. The federal regulations were last updated in 2002 and a new proposed rule is expected in Spring 2015. This brief identifies key issues in the regulation and discusses how CMS might address them.

The Impact of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP): What Does the Research Tell Us?

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was established in 1997 to provide coverage for uninsured children who are low-income but above the threshold for Medicaid eligibility. In 2009, and again in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Congress extended federal funding for CHIP, but funding will expire a little over a year from now. Decisions about CHIP’s future funding will be consequential as more than 8 million low-income children were covered by CHIP at some point during 2012. To help inform the policy debate about CHIP, this brief reviews key data and evidence from the large body of research on the impact of children’s coverage.

Disparities in Health and Health Care: Five Key Questions and Answers

Executive Summary 1. What are Health and Health Care Disparities? Health and health care disparities refer to differences in health and health care between population groups. “Health disparity,” generally refers to a higher burden of illness, injury, disability, or mortality experienced by one population group relative to another group. A…