Medicare

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The field of 2020 presidential candidates with health care overhaul plans is crowded, and Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind., is drawing lines of distinction between his proposal and his competitors' plans.

Dean Ernest had been living in a nursing home about a year when his son, John, got a call last winter asking if his father was experiencing back pain and would like a free orthotic brace.

The caller said he was with Medicare. John Ernest didn't believe him, said "no" to the brace and hung up. He didn't give out his father's Medicare number.

And yet, not just one, but 13 braces addressed to Dean arrived soon afterward at the younger Ernest's house in central Pennsylvania — none of which Dean Ernest wanted or needed.

Telemedicine scams on the rise

Evan Vucci / AP

President Donald Trump is pledging to protect Medicare.  The president visited The Villages in central Florida – a collection of communities for residents 55 and older.  He announced and signed an executive order aimed at protecting and improving Medicare coverage.

Trump also used the event as an opportunity to tout his administration’s health care goals and achievements. He criticized the proposals set forth by his Democratic rivals, which he called socialism.

While many Capitol Hill Republicans would like to avoid another public debate about whether to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Trump and his appointees keep bringing it up — promising their own health plan that would be "phenomenal" and make the GOP "the party of health care."

Biden-Harris Debate Rematch Highlights Health Plan Differences

Aug 1, 2019

Which of these Democrats can insure more Americans?

As Wednesday’s debate made vividly clear, there are almost as many versions of “Medicare for All” as there are Democratic candidates — and each one thinks their plan is the path to insuring every American.

For California Sen. Kamala Harris and former Vice President Joe Biden, health care became the sequel to their first fiery exchange — when Harris, peering over at Biden, movingly recalled during the first round of debates last month how the busing policy he once backed had changed the course of her life. 

Updated at 1:30 p.m. ET

On Wednesday, Alexis Conell will mark seven years since she received the kidney transplant that saved her life, but the 53-year-old Chicago woman isn't exactly celebrating.

Although the federal government paid most of the costs for her 2012 transplant, a long-standing Medicare policy halted coverage three years later for the drugs that keep her body from rejecting the organ.

Health insurers that treat millions of seniors have overcharged Medicare by nearly $30 billion over the past three years alone, but federal officials say they are moving ahead with long-delayed plans to recoup at least part of the money.

We all hope for some peace and comfort at the end of life. Hospices are designed to make that possible, relieving pain and providing emotional and spiritual support. But two new government studies released Tuesday morning find that the vast majority of hospices have sometimes failed to do that.

And there's no easy way for consumers to distinguish the good hospices from the bad.

Medicare, Social Security Face Shaky Fiscal Futures

Apr 23, 2019

The financial condition of the government’s bedrock retirement programs for middle- and working-class Americans remains shaky, with Medicare pointed toward insolvency by 2026, according to a report Monday by the government’s overseers of Medicare and Social Security. 

Costly Confusion: Medicare’s Wellness Visit Isn’t The Same As An Annual Physical

Mar 20, 2019

When Beverly Dunn called her new primary care doctor’s office last November to schedule an annual checkup, she assumed her Medicare coverage would pick up most of the tab. 

Medicare Trims Payments To 800 Hospitals, Citing Patient Safety Incidents

Mar 1, 2019

Eight hundred hospitals will be paid less by Medicare this year because of high rates of infections and patient injuries, federal records show. 

"Medicare-for-all," once widely considered a fringe proposal for providing health care in the U.S., is getting more popular. Several Democratic presidential hopefuls are getting behind the idea.

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., endorsed the approach Monday in a CNN town hall-style event, saying her aim would be to eliminate all private insurance.

Poll: Support For 'Medicare-For-all' Fluctuates With Details

Jan 23, 2019

"Medicare-for-all" makes a good first impression, but support plunges when people are asked if they'd pay higher taxes or put up with treatment delays to get it.

The Trump administration says it plans to change how Medicare pays for some expensive drugs for cancer and arthritis in a move to bring the costs more in line with the prices paid in European countries.

"For decades, other countries have rigged the system so that American patients are charged much more," President Trump said Thursday in a speech at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which administers Medicare. "American patients pay more, so other countries can pay less."

Ensuring that people with pre-existing health conditions can get and keep health insurance is the most popular part of the Affordable Care Act. It has also become a flashpoint in this fall's midterm campaigns across the country.

And not only is the ACA protection, which mostly applies to people who buy their own coverage, at risk. It's also possible that pre-existing condition protections that predate the federal health law could be in play.

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