Medicare

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Some States Will Be Big Winners Under ObamaCare Repeal Bill

But there will be 31 losers, according to federal report

(Newser) - There will be some big winners and plenty of losers under the latest effort at ObamaCare repeal, according to a Trump administration internal report. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services predicts that reallocation of funding in the bill from Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham will cause... More »

Bernie Sanders Wants to Give You a 'Universal Medicare' Card

Senator unveils plan to provide insurance for everyone through Medicare

(Newser) - Bernie Sanders rolled out his vision to overhaul the health care system on Wednesday, one in which everybody would get their insurance from the government through Medicare instead of through their jobs or a private insurer. Sanders calls it the Medicare for All Act of 2017, but you'll also... More »

Woman Stuck in Alaska After Terminal Cancer Diagnosis

(Newser) - A couple who left on a two-week "trip of a lifetime" to see mountains and glaciers in Alaska in late April is now stuck in a hospital in Anchorage. Nancy and Paul Greathouse, who married later in life, had both recently retired after working for 40 years. This was... More »

Tougher 'Able-Bodied' Work Rules Expected for Benefits

Trump budget calls for cuts in food stamps, Medicaid

(Newser) - President Trump unveils his first detailed budget plan on Tuesday, and word leaking out in advance suggests he wants big cuts for Medicaid and food stamps. The Washington Post reports that Trump's budget slashes Medicaid by $800 billion over 10 years, meaning he's on board with the House... More »

Trump: ObamaCare Replacement Is Ready to Go

'Much less expensive and much better'

(Newser) - Donald Trump says he's got a plan to replace ObamaCare ready to go—and there will be "insurance for everybody." In an interview with the Washington Post , the president-elect doesn't say much about the specifics of TrumpCare, though he does say there will be "lower... More »

Patients of Women Doctors Live Longer

More than 30K lives could be saved if men doctors performed equally

(Newser) - Want to live longer? Get a woman doctor. That's the conclusion of a new Harvard study that found elderly patients are less likely to die if they are treated by a woman. If all doctors performed as well as women doctors, some 32,000 lives would be saved each... More »

How Sanders Would Pay for Universal Health Care

He says tax hikes, even on middle class, would save money in long run

(Newser) - Bernie Sanders unveiled a single-payer health care plan just before Sunday night's debate that he calls "Medicare for All." He lays it out here , declaring that it's about time health care becomes a guarantee for all Americans, "not a privilege." Some related reading:
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Amputees Fight Medicare for Artificial Limbs

They object to new rules that will limit prosthetics

(Newser) - It's not your usual dry debate over Medicare spending: In this case, it involves amputees fighting for artificial legs and feet. Nearly 150 amputees and their supporters descended on Washington yesterday to protest changes they say will make it harder for them to get prostheses, the Washington Post reports.... More »

Medicare to Pay Doctors for End-of-Life Counseling

Will 'death panels' charge emerge again?

(Newser) - Medicare unveiled plans today to begin paying doctors to have conversations with their patients about end-of-life care and how they want to die. Yes, the same idea that got shot down six years ago when Sarah Palin raised a ruckus about "death panels," reports the AP . A post... More »

'Milestone' Doc Fix Sails Through Senate

Medicare reform passes 92-8, Obama expected to sign

(Newser) - The "doc fix" bill that passed the House last month has now earned the Senate's stamp of approval. The bill—which includes changes to how Medicare pays doctors and extends the Children's Health Insurance Program until 2017—passed with a 92-8 vote yesterday, hours before doctors were... More »

The Wildly Varying Cost of Scanning Our Hearts

NYT investigates how much we pay for echocardiograms

(Newser) - As one cardiologist puts it, "At many hospitals, the threshold for ordering an echocardiogram is the presence of a heart." That statement, made to the New York Times , becomes all the more troubling if you read the Times' full look into the use—and generally wildly varying cost—... More »

Taxpayer Dollars Funding Drugs for Dead People

Medicare payments allowed up to 32 days after patients' deaths: report

(Newser) - Dead men don't wear plaid—and they don't pick up prescription drugs at the pharmacy. Yet Medicare has been paying for medicine for the deceased for up to 32 days after their deaths, the AP reports. A report out today from the Health and Human Services Department's... More »

Medicare Fund to Last Longer Than Previously Thought

Medicare gets a 4-year boost—but disability benefits are disappearing more quickly

(Newser) - If you’ve been nervously eyeing your Social Security and Medicare updates, wondering if there will be anything left or whether a viable health program will exist by the time you punch your final timecard, Uncle Sam has (some) good news: Benefits funds for Medicare are expected to last for... More »

Number of Seniors on Pain Pills Surges, Alarmingly

'USA Today' analysis reveals jump over 5 years

(Newser) - More seniors are getting powerful pain meds for longer periods through Medicare, USA Today reports—and the increases are drastic. One in five seniors now gets prescribed pain drugs like Vicodin and Percocet. The number getting opioid pain medication prescriptions jumped 30% between 2007 and 2012, passing 8.5 million... More »

Odd Treatments Bring a Few Doctors Medicare Millions

Surgeon billed for $3.7M—without doing surgery, WSJ finds

(Newser) - A rare heart treatment involving strapping patients to a bed using large cuffs that promote blood flow is rarely used by America's cardiologists; the Cleveland Clinic's 141 cardiologists used it on just six patients last year. But one LA internist used it on nearly all his 615 Medicare... More »

Medicare Paid Doctor $21M in Single Year

He's one of 344 who received at least $3M in 2012

(Newser) - Medicare's books have been opened up after an extended legal battle, and perhaps the most startling detail is that a single doctor was reimbursed nearly $21 million in 2012 alone. Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen was one of 344 physicians who raked in more than $3 million from Medicare that... More »

The Government Is Growing, Dying at the Same Time

Robert Samuelson argues that the Democrats are paradoxically the ones shrinking it

(Newser) - As the American people age, a pernicious paradox has taken hold of the federal budget: "We are slowly dismantling the federal government, even as its spending is growing larger," observes Robert Samuelson at the Washington Post . With every budget, lawmakers are slashing into discretionary spending, but with Social... More »

Government Spent $172M on Penis Pumps

At double the retail price per pump

(Newser) - Between 2006 and 2011, Medicare spent $172 million on penis pumps, according to a report out Monday by the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services. That figure is outrageous for a reason other than that you might think. As NBC News reports, penis pumps, more properly... More »

Not Dying? Hospice Wants You Anyway

Recruiting healthier patients for profit, 'Washington Post' reveals

(Newser) - Hospice care is for the terminally ill, yet the number of "hospice survivors" jumped 50% in California between 2002 and 2012. Something to celebrate? Not quite: A Washington Post investigation into the $17 billion industry now dominated by for-profits reveals hospice companies recruit patients who aren't dying because... More »

Brand-Name Drugs Cost Medicare Billions

Doctors with ties to industry go with pricey versions instead of generics

(Newser) - So much money wasted, such a seemingly simple fix. A ProPublica investigation finds that a relatively small group of doctors costs taxpayers hundreds of millions dollars per year because they choose to prescribe pricey brand-name drugs to low-income Medicare patients instead of generic versions. Is it because they have hearts... More »

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