Holtz-Eakin Says Cost-Control Board Will Move Medicare Close To Rationed System

Also on the topic of health law implementation issues, news outlets report on health care coverage for immigrants and retiree benefits. 

The Hill: Holtz-Eakin: IPAB Will Hurt Innovation, Ration Care
The cost-control panel created by President Obama's healthcare law could move Medicare "dangerously close to a rationed system," conservative economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin says in a new policy analysis. Holtz-Eakin, a former Congressional Budget Office director who was the chief domestic policy adviser to John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, is taking aim at the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) (Baker, 10/24).

HealthyCal: Treating Uninsured Immigrants After Health Care Reform
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 30 million Americans will remain uninsured two years after the Medicaid expansion and state health benefit exchanges are established in 2014. Twenty-five percent of the remaining uninsured will not qualify for coverage because of immigration status, according to a recent report from the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (Shanafelt, 10/23).

CQ HealthBeat: Workers Coming To Grips With Diminishing Retiree Health Benefits, EBRI Says
Increasingly, workers are realizing they shouldn't expect retiree health benefits from their employers, and companies view the health care law's mandated exchanges as a viable option for their retired employees, according to a new report by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute. For more than a decade the number of companies that offer retiree benefits both for early retirees and retirees eligible for Medicare has been declining. In 2010, 17.7 percent of employees worked for companies that offered health coverage to early retirees, down from 28.9 percent in 1997. Among non-working retirees over age 65, 16 percent had retiree health benefits in 2010, down from 20 percent in 1997 (Bunis, 10/23).

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