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Fact or Fiction? The Five Myths of Medicare

May 9, 2012

Because of Medicare’s size and growth, the health-care program has taken center stage on the campaign trail and in Capitol Hill discussions about the federal budget deficit. Medicare covers almost one in six Americans and comprises about 15 percent of the federal budget, but it is often misunderstood. Let’s take a few minutes to separate fact from fiction.

CMS Projects $200 billion in Medicare Savings from Health Care Reform Law

April 23, 2012

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) expect the health care reform law to result in more than $200 billion in savings through 2016 because of measures that include ending excessive payments to private insurers that offer Medicare Advantage plans and implementing new anti-fraud policies. The estimate came from a report released by the CMS’ Office of the Actuary. The report also said that health care reform lowers premiums and out of pocket costs for seniors, resulting in about 59.4 billion in savings through 2016. 

“The Affordable Care Act is the key to lowering healthcare costs in a way that improves care for beneficiaries, instead of cutting services,” said CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “In the short term, both taxpayers and beneficiaries will save billions thanks to the healthcare law. Over the long run, the Affordable Care Act will allow us to invest in new models of providing care that will save money and deliver higher-quality care.”

NCHC Survey Finds Drug Industry Coupons Driving Medicare Costs

April 16, 2012

The National Coalition on Health Care released new research suggesting that marketing coupons for brand-name prescription drugs are influencing the drug treatments of more than 2 million seniors, despite a prohibition on their use in Medicare.  A previously released study by Visante showed that the use of these coupons could drive up non-federal health costs by $32 billion in the next decade. NCHC’s research, released today, shows that these coupons are costing Medicare beneficiaries and taxpayers as well. With the evidence piling up, Congress and the administration should investigate the use of these coupons and their impact on spending in Medicare and across the health system. Addressing this issue would be a good first step to reducing the waste and unnecessary expenses driving up the health care costs.

Latest Press Releases

Cutting the Prevention Fund Now Could Cost Taxpayers Later

May 9, 2012

In the wake of today’s Senate cloture vote on S.2343, we urge both Houses of Congress to address this and other budgetary matters without imposing cuts to prevention programs which will cost taxpayers more in the future.

Medical Organizations Come Together to Reduce Waste

April 4, 2012

“The leadership shown by the various medical organizations behind Choosing Wisely represents a turning point in the effort to address waste in our health care system. For the first time, the
medical profession is recommending procedures that should not be performed. It’s a welcome step forward in making care more affordable and improving quality.

MedPAC Advances Promising Medicare Reform Proposals

March 15, 2012

MedPAC’s report today included four particularly promising ideas to curb health costs and improve quality.  These recommendations offer Congress an important opportunity to rein in costs for both Medicare and consumers and businesses in the private market.