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Pulling it Together: The People Behind The Entitlement Debate

Well before we have any clarity on the impact of the election on health reform, the pundits are handicapping the prospects of efforts to make a serious dent in the national debt and deficit.  Three national commissions are hammering out recommendations for reducing the debt and reining in entitlement spending,…

A Primer on Medicare Financing

As Congress and the Administration increasingly focus on the nation’s budget deficit, many policy experts and several bipartisan deficit reduction panels have proposed significant changes to Medicare to reduce federal spending and address rising health care costs. This primer provides an overview of Medicare spending trends, how the program is…

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   

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.

Proposed Changes to Medicare in the “Path to Prosperity”: Overview and Key Questions

This brief examines key Medicare provisions included in “The Path to Prosperity: Restoring America’s Promise,” a long-term budget proposal released by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan on April 5, 2011, which outlines a strategy for reducing federal spending and reducing the national debt over time. The Medicare provisions are among…

The Budget Trigger and Health Reform

No doubt it will take some time to sort out how elements of the debt deal (formally “The Budget Control Act of 2011”) will all work. Delving into the details of how it affects subsidies in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to make insurance more affordable helps to illustrate how…

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.