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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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Raising Medicare Premiums for Higher-Income Beneficiaries: Assessing the Implications

As policymakers consider ways to slow the growth in Medicare spending as part of broader efforts to reduce the federal debt or offset the cost of other spending priorities, some have proposed to increase beneficiary contributions through higher Medicare premiums. This issue brief explains provisions of current law that impose income-related premiums under Medicare Part B and Part D, describes recent proposals to modify these requirements, and analyzes the potential implications for the Medicare population.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: August 2012

This poll, conducted as the GOP prepares for its national convention, finds that the Affordable Care Act is not the top health care priority among Republicans. While jobs are still the number one issue for Republicans, when asked about the health care issues that will impact their vote this fall,…

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…

Special Needs Plans: Availability and Enrollment

Special Needs Plans are a form of Medicare Advantage plan authorized to provide a managed care option for beneficiaries with significant or relatively specialized care needs, including Medicare beneficiaries who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, beneficiaries living in nursing homes or other institutions, and beneficiaries with severe chronic…

Medicare Part D Update: Lessons Learned and Unfinished Business

Enacted in 2003, Medicare’s Part D prescription drug benefit reflected an unprecedented and controversial new approach for Medicare, relying exclusively on private plans to provide health coverage and including an unusual gap in coverage. This analysis by Kaiser researchers examines in detail how the new model has worked since its…

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…

Explaining Health Care Reform: What is Comparative Effectiveness Research?

The brief examines current funding for comparative effectiveness research, the provisions included in the current health reform legislation, and issues related to which treatments that might be studied, whether and how to weigh costs of care, and how such findings will be used and shared with health-care practitioners and the…

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)…

Financial Incentives in the Long-Term Care Context: A First Look at Relevant Information

Financial Incentives in the Long-Term Care Context: A First Look at Relevant Information This report reviews Medicare’s payment policies as they may affect medical care for residents in long-term care environments, including a look at the financial incentives that could play a role in hospital and skilled nursing facility admissions.…