Medicare and Medicaid Are Unsustainable Without Quick Action

(By – Gail Wilensky, Project HOPE)

As we celebrate Medicare and Medicaid’s 50th birthday, it is natural to look back at the changes that have occurred over the last 50 years as well as think about the changes yet to come. Medicare’s covered population has increased from 19 million to 55 million, including almost 10 million under-65 disabled. Benefits have also expanded considerably, including many preventive services as well as outpatient prescription drug coverage. Most beneficiaries continue in “traditional Medicare” although almost a third now choose Medicare Advantage, a private sector alternative, that covers at least some of the payments Medicare doesn’t cover, provides additional benefits and in principle, more coordination in the delivery of services. Read more…


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