Marilyn Werber Serafini has been a reporter in Washington since 1985, and was the health care and welfare correspondent for National Journal magazine from 1995 to 2010. She has written extensively about Medicare, Medicaid, the uninsured, health care reform, bioterrorism and pandemic flu and has won awards for articles on these subjects. Serafini covered the health reform debate during the Clinton Administration and the recent debate that led to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Serafini created and moderated National Journal’s Health Care Expert Blog, and was a senior reporter for CongressDaily (now National Journal Daily) from 1991-1995. | Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The track records of two programs often cited by Republican candidates suggest a more complicated picture.
Here are some questions and answers about the Democratic and Republican approaches to moderating spending on the popular program, which covers 47 million seniors and disabled people.
The Republican-controlled House, along party lines, twice approved Ryan's proposals to overhaul the popular program by giving beneficiaries a set amount of money every year to buy coverage from competing health plans. That is a fundamental shift from today’s program, where the federal government must help pay for every doctor visit and medical service that an individual uses.
The Obama administration doesn't want states to skip Medicaid expansions, but it could save money.
The Supreme Court ruling shifts the focus to states. But between 20 and 40 may be unable to set up new online insurance markets by fall 2013.
The Supreme Court Thursday gave states the option to skip the Medicaid expansion, but the pressure of accepting millions in new federal dollars to pay for coverage for low-income people may be too great.
If the Supreme Court strikes down the health law, 49 million Medicare beneficiaries could lose a variety of benefits that have already kicked in.
If the court kills part or all of the health law, Republicans will likely wait until after the elections to roll out detailed proposals.
Supporters say the bonus system is improving care for millions of seniors, but critics say it can be a clumsy measure of value and rewards mediocrity.
Trustees of the Medicare program today forecast increased financial troubles as a result of an aging population and rising health care costs, raising the visibility of an issue that is already proving divisive in the 2012 presidential and Congressional campaigns.