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September 2013
Schlein
Washington Watch

Early Positive Results of Obamacare Enactment Enumerated while 'Defunding Efforts' Continue and Enrollment Startup Just a Few Weeks Away

According to the Obama administration’s numbers, the law has provided 54 million Americans free access to preventive services like check-ups and mammograms. More than six million seniors have saved more than six billion dollars on their prescriptions and nearly 13 million consumers have received rebates from insurance companies that had overcharged them, totaling more than one billion dollars.

Trussell

New Health-cost Tax Break for Seniors Starts this Year

For 2013 taxes, the claim for health related costs was jacked up from 7.5 percent to 10 percent of Adjusted Gross Income — except for taxpayers or their spouses who are 65 or older. For us seniors the deduction remains at 7.5 percent from 2013 to 2017.

August 2013
Ambord

To Save Social Security the Minimum Retirement Age Could Rise to 64

 First, the most controversial proposal: Raise the minimum retirement age from 62 to 64. Fuerst told Congress if this is adopted, it be phased in slowly to give society a chance to adapt and prepare for a delayed retirement. He would even suggest doing it over a period of decades, however with the “depletion” date in two decades, 2033, this might be too little too late.

Schlein
Washington Watch

Saves Money, Saves Lives, But Will Medicare and the Health Care Community Adopt this Model?

This, to Coburn, is the core truth, and core problem, of today’s medical system: The change to living with chronic illness has changed the problem and the health care system simply hasn’t kept up. So Coburn and HQP are attempting to adjust to changing medical needs for seniors with multiple chronic conditions.

July 2013
Schlein
Washington Watch

Love It or Leave It: Health Care Insurance Sign-ups Targeted at Both Fed and State Levels.

Remembering the red-state, blue-state election maps, tens of millions of poor or disabled people including millions of seniors, currently living on the eastern seaboard or in parts of the Midwest or along the Pacific coast will be in line to obtain Medicaid health care coverage for the first time next year. But millions more – living primarily in the south and southwest and portions of the Midwest – will be denied coverage because of political and budgetary calculations by their state political leaders and lawmakers.

Trussell
Aid for Age

Oldest Boomers’ Rapidly Changing Attitudes and Lifestyles

The figures on boomer retirement represent a big change since 2007 and 2008 when only 19 percent of the oldest boomers were retired as well as a leap up from the 45 percent retired in 2011.

 

June 2013
Schlein
Washington Watch

The Medicare ‘Observation’ Muddle: Are You an Inpatient or Not? And How Much Will That Cost You?

Beneficiaries who are placed under observation – which is considered outpatient care – cannot qualify for nursing home coverage, even if they are in the hospital for three days. They also face higher out-of-pocket costs, including higher copayments and charges for drugs that are not covered for outpatient stays.

Trussell
Aid for Age

Valuing Those Who Do Some of the ‘Nastiest’ Work for Us

“We value the fact that people come and pick up our garbage every single morning. How do I know that we value them?” asks Elsas “Because we pay these people more than we pay the worker who takes care of our elderly population.

May 2013
Schlein
Washington Watch

Budget Battles and Filling the Hardest Job in the Federal Government Both Have Increasing Impact on Seniors

The shortages have hurt the agency’s ability to implement crucial reforms, ensure adequate oversight of hospitals and find ways to stem spiraling medical costs, researchers say. In recent years, Congress has added more programs and complex legislation to the agency’s plate, including overseeing the 2003 prescription drug benefit for seniors, developing a system for grading hospitals and nursing homes and trying to weed out fraud and waste. Many consider administering CMS to be one of the hardest jobs in the entire federal government.

April 2013
Schlein
Washington Watch

Trying to Shop Around for Medical Care? Impossible if You’re Trying to Compare Costs

It finds that the American health care system is not a free market and there’s hardly anything logical about how hospitals charge for procedures. Hospital billing is “a crapshoot,” the article says, “People fare differently according to circumstances they can neither control nor predict.”

 

Health care prices are high in America, the article concludes, because the federal government doesn’t stop them from being high, like other countries do. What sets the American system apart from other countries is rate setting. In the U.S., the federal government does not regulate the prices that health care providers can charge. But it does regulate the prices health care providers charge those over 65 and that’s what has helped Medicare control some of its costs.

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