National Journal: Obama And Romney On Medicare: The Basics Here’s a breakdown of the major features of the two candidates’ plans for the program, laying out how each would change life for current and future beneficiaries, and where future budget savings are achieved. OBAMA/BIDEN: President Obama has already spelled out his vision for Medicare reform in his 2010 health reform law. The law pares back about $700 billion in Medicare growth over the next 10 years through several mechanisms and launches some payment reforms designed to reduce wasteful use of health care by beneficiaries. … ROMNEY/RYAN: There are some small differences between Romney and Ryan’s proposals on Medicare, but they share a basic core — the assertion that competition and choice can drive down costs more effectively than a government monolith (Sanger-Katz, 8/14).
Video: You Can Help Fight Medicare Fraud
TrendSource Needs Your Help Protecting Senior Citizens from Unethical Medicare Insurance Sales Tactics
In 2011, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued severe fines to insurance companies for violating regulated marketing and sales guidelines. These regulations are in place to prevent deceptive and high-pressure marketing tactics during the annual enrollment period (AEP), which occurs from October to December. One of the tools that CMS uses to regulate insurers is surveillance programs where CMS personnel or third party contractors anonymously attend sales and marketing events. In the case of an infraction, CMS may issue a fine or for the worst offenders, they can revoke the ability of the insurer to sell Medicare & Medicaid services.
SHIIP provides Medicare assistance
Of course there are other things to consider when determining Medicare options. SHIIP has created a handout meant to help navigate the Medicare system and initial enrollment process. The handout, “The Road to Medicare,” outlines the decisions people will need to make and what options are available through the Medicare system. To obtain a free copy of “The Road to Medicare,” call SHIIP at 1-800-443-9354 or visit SHIIP’s website at www.ncshiip. com.
Need Help with Medicare Premiums? Enroll in MMAP
Medicare Premium Help is an outreach campaign that works to spread awareness and assist Michigan seniors with their health care premiums. The campaign is part of the nonprofit Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) and works through Michigan Area Agencies on Aging. MMAP has already helped thousands of senior citizens since its inception in 1984, and has saved seniors millions of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses. The organization is looking to reach even more seniors this year with the Medicare Premium Help campaign.
Daily Kos: Mitt’s Medicare madness
Mr. Romney subscribes to a set of fantasies out of the Chamber of Commerce playbook that all the familiar activities of status quo wealth generation could easily continue via the marvelous invisible hands of unfettered corporatism, if only the deadweight of government restrictions and the squandering of borrowed public “money” were swept away. His choice of running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan, is meant to embody all those notions — but more than that appeal to the inchoate mob of Tea Partiers who want to get the gubment’s hands off their goshdarn medicare. Anyway, the net effect of Mr. Romney’s business fantasies are so inadequate to the contractive forces underway that they would amount to pissing up the massive rope of history in a hurricane of events. Anyway, bear in mind that, whatever else is going on out there right now in the three-ring circus of presidential politics, events are in the driver’s seat, not personalities, and the seeming quiescence of things on the late summer scene is an illusion that will soon dissipate.
Medicare meeting helps break down program for locals
BROWNSVILLE — People from around the Rio Grande Valley gathered Friday to learn about Medicare — what it will do for them and maybe what it won’t. “I learned Medicare doesn’t cover everything, but other things we’ve learned about here can help cover those costs,” Lupita Medina of San Benito said. “It’s important to know about everything available to us, what we can or can’t do and about new things too.” The meeting, held at Sunset Haven Apartments in Brownsville, was designed as an outreach and educational service for new Medicare beneficiaries. “Residents were taught in groups in English and Spanish. That way they can feel more comfortable and are open to asking questions,” said Rachanna Rodriguez, director of senior programs at Senior Community Outreach Services. “A lot of people qualify for these services. There’s something for everyone, even for those of low income. This lets them know what their options are.” Another key objective of the meeting was explaining how to prevent and identify Medicare fraud. In 2011 in Texas, 170 people were charged with Medicare fraud and 118 were convicted, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Last fiscal year, Texas recovered nearly $191 million from Medicare fraud cases. “We teach them how to report fraud and what steps they need to take next because Medicare fraud affects everyone,” Rodriguez said. About 100 people attended Friday’s meeting, including about 15 staff members from six organizations who were there to provide information. Those organizations were Senior Community Outreach Services, the National Hispanic Senior Medicare Patrol, Pre-Plan Insurance, the Texas Department of Insurance, the Social Security Administration and Texas Health and Human Services. Similar meetings about Medicare services, benefits and fraud prevention are held at different locations every month, Rodriguez said. There is no cost to attend the gatherings, which are open to anybody wanting to learn more about Medicare. Attendees are not required to bring any paperwork. Residents are encouraged to bring a friend or family member to help them during the sessions, Rodriguez said. For more information on the monthly meetings, call Senior Community Outreach Services at (956) 787-9524 or toll free at 1-866-943-7289.
Does Romney Support Ryan’s Medicare Plan? What day is this? : Take Action News
Previously, Shuster hosted shows on MSNBC and anchored that network’s prime time coverage of breaking news stories including the historic Congressional votes for healthcare reform, the earthquake in Haiti, and the death of Michael Jackson. Shuster also worked for NBC News, where he covered Operation Iraqi Freedom in Doha,Qatar; the first elections in Baghdad, Iraq; the selection of Pope Benedict in Vatican City; and Hurricane Katrina as the storm made landfall in Biloxi, Mississippi. On MSNBC’s Hardball, Shuster led the show’s coverage of the 2004 and 2008 Presidential campaigns. He headed up MSNBC’s “ad watch team,” fact checking and analyzing hundreds of campaign commercials. He also covered the national political conventions and the presidential campaign primaries. In the fall of 2003, Shuster spent two months in California leading Hardball’s coverage of the recall of Governor Gray Davis and the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger. From 1996-2002, Shuster was a Washington, D.C. based correspondent for the Fox News Channel. He was at the Pentagon on 9/11 and led Fox’s coverage in Washington,D.C.of U.S.military operations in Afghanistan. During the Clinton administration, Shuster led Fox’s coverage of the Clinton investigations including “Whitewater,” the Monica Lewinsky scandal, the Starr report, and the Senate impeachment trial. From 1994–1996, Shuster was the lead investigative and political reporter for KATV (ABC) in Little Rock,Arkansas. He led the station’s coverage of the Whitewater investigation, including the indictment, trial, conviction, and resignation of Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker. Shuster’s series on corruption at the Arkansas Manufactured Housing Commission prompted changes in state law and earned Shuster an Emmy Award for Investigative Reporting. From 1990–1994, Shuster was a field producer and assignment editor for CNN in their Washington, D.C.bureau. In 2006, Shuster was the recipient of the prestigious “Bugle Award” given by the 1.3 million member organization “Disabled American Veterans.” The annual honor recognizes journalists who bring attention to disabled veterans. Shuster won for his extensive coverage of the 2005 National Disabled American Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Aspen,Colorado. Shuster is a graduate of the Universityof Michigan. He lives in Washington, D.C.
Daily Kos: New Obama (Web) Ad Strikes Back Hard on Medicare
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ARRA News Service: Bill Introduced To Help Lower Medicare Costs By Keeping Seniors Healthy
Washington, D.C. – Recognizing the need for innovative and cost-effective solutions to deal with the growing cost of Medicare, U.S. Representatives Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Ron Kind (D-WI), Tim Griffin (R-AR), and Marcia Fudge (D-OH), today introduced legislation that experts say could save Medicare billions by helping American seniors get and stay healthy. In an effort to bring down health care costs, U.S. employers are increasingly turning to workplace wellness programs that reward employees who engage in healthy behaviors. The Medicare “Better Health Rewards” program would give Medicare beneficiaries a chance to participate in a similar and 100% voluntary wellness program. Using such health indicators as diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and smoking status, participating providers and doctors would use information gathered during annual wellness visits to provide patients with achievable health goals, a roadmap to reach those goals, and incentives to stay motivated. Funding for the “Better Health Rewards” Program is generated as participating seniors get healthy and use less healthcare services. Beneficiaries who meet certain benchmarks for improving their health indicators will be eligible for a “Better Health Reward” of up to $200 after the second year and $400 after the third year. “We all understand the unsustainable path Medicare is currently on, and the urgent need for innovative new ways to strengthen and fortify this essential program,” said Rep. Paulsen. “The Better Health Rewards Program is a cost-effective plan to reduce Medicare costs by rewarding participants who work to improve their health. By focusing on leading health indicators such as blood pressure and cholesterol, and providing patients with the tools they need to get and stay healthy, we can help American seniors live longer healthier lives and strengthen Medicare.” “Health care spending is the fastest growing area of the federal budget,” said Rep. Kind. “This is a commonsense bill that focuses not only on an innovative way to get these costs under control and strengthen Medicare in the long-run but also gives our seniors an incentive to pursue a healthier lifestyle. It’s a win-win in my book.” “Medicare spending is unsustainable and failure to reform and save this critical program threatens the health and retirement security of our seniors,” said Rep. Griffin. “The Better Health Rewards program rewards seniors for choosing healthier lifestyles in order to avoid the type of preventable, chronic conditions that contribute to three quarters of our nation’s health care spending. I’m proud to be an original cosponsor of this innovative, patient-centered and bipartisan legislation.” “The Better Health Rewards Program has the potential to be a tremendous success for Medicare and the American people, providing seniors and others with health care security,” said Rep. Fudge. “Its Incentive program will help citizens become invested in their own health and cultivate healthy habits. In terms of our economy these programs cut costs, and yield actual services, not high premiums. I am proud to co-sponsor legislation that will ensure older Americans reap the rewards of better health at a lower cost.”