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These Foundation resources shed light on how the ongoing national debate about deficit reduction may affect Medicare, Medicaid and other health-care programs.  These resources include analysis of specific savings proposals, polling on the public’s views of deficit-reduction options, summaries and comparisons of relevant elements of major deficit-reduction plans, and explanatory briefs and backgrounders describing key issues related to the debate. This page highlights some key resources examining deficit reduction and provides you with the standard search result page for a site-wide search on the deficit reduction tag.

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Explaining Health Reform: Medicare and the New Independent Payment Advisory Board

This brief describes how the new board created under the 2010 health reform law is expected to limit the growth in Medicare spending over time. Starting in 2014, if projected per capita Medicare spending exceeds targets set in the law, the board must recommend ways to reduce Medicare spending, while…

Explaining Health Reform: Key Changes in the Medicare Advantage Program

This brief examines the changes in the 2010 health reform law affecting the Medicare Advantage program, which gives beneficiaries the option of enrolling in private insurance plans for their Medicare benefits, instead of the traditional fee-for-service program. The reform law will gradually reduce Medicare payments to these plans to bring…

Summary of Key Changes to Medicare in 2010 Health Reform Law   

This brief provides a detailed look at the improvements in Medicare benefits, changes to payments for providers and Medicare Advantage plans, various demonstration projects and other Medicare provisions in the law. It includes a timeline of key dates for implementing the Medicare-related provisions in the law. Issue Brief (.pdf) Earlier…

Medicare: A Primer

This primer explains key elements of the Medicare program, which now provides health coverage to 47 million people — including 39 million people age 65 and older and another 8 million younger adults with permanent disabilities. It looks at the characteristics of the Medicare population, what benefits are covered, how…

Pulling it Together: When Premiums Go Up 39%

Our group that works on health care cost issues just updated an analysis that sheds light on what’s really happening to people in the individual health insurance market, the issue Secretary Sebelius, a former Kansas insurance commissioner, and others have put in the spotlight by calling on Anthem and other…

Pulling it Together: An Actuarial Rorschach Test

Drew Altman, Larry Levitt, Gary Claxton My colleagues have worked on this column with me and I invited them to join me as authors. As with pretty much every other discussion of health care going back to the days of Roosevelt, the great reform debate of 2009 (and now 2010)…

Explaining Health Care Reform: How Do Health Care Costs Vary By Region?

Although regional variations in health spending have been studied for decades, there is renewed focus on this issue because of the role of health care costs in health care reform and the potential source of funds if addressing cost variations can yield savings. This explainer examines what is known about…

Health Insurance Coverage for Older Adults: Implications of a Medicare Buy-In

As the Senate debates comprehensive health reform legislation, the idea of a Medicare buy-in option for uninsured adults aged 55-64 has re-emerged as a potential component of a reform plan. This Kaiser Family Foundation policy brief provides an updated profile of the more than 4 million uninsured people between ages…