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Video: State Takeover of Harrisburg, Medicare/Medicaid Funding [Pennsylvania Newsmakers]
Ryan Takes to Pennsylvania to Push Medicare Message
Mr. Ryan was extrapolating from a 2010 report from Medicare’s Office of the Actuary. It analyzed the potential impact of lower premium supports paid to private companies that issue Medicare Advantage plans, popular alternatives to traditional Medicare with extra benefits such as gym memberships. To slow the growth of Medicare spending, the Affordable Care Act reduces support for the private plans, which Democrats consider inefficient. Beneficiaries would still be covered under traditional Medicare.
Medicare Takes Center Stage In Close Pennsylvania Races
The campaign jockeying over Medicare comes at a time when the program represents a huge fiscal challenge to both parties. With almost 50 million beneficiaries — and growing at the rate of 10,000 baby boomers every day — the entitlement program is one of the fastest-growing portions of the federal budget. Both parties acknowledge the need to curb its growth; both have also used the issue for political gain, casting themselves as the program’s protectors against what they portray as rivals’ threats.
Broad And Pennsylvania: No Debt Deal Should Raise Medicare Eligibility
The correct move would be to move the eligibility age down. Sure, in the first couple years of raising eligibility, the government does save some temporary dollars by covering less people, but that goes up, and the costs get entirely dumped onto consumers then. Lowering the eligibility age to 55 years old, optionally, would bring millions more onto Medicare, improving purchasing power. This would lower reimbursement rates even more, or lower the cost of health care in laymen’s terms. This would allow most early retirees to get affordable insurance too. Even more important possibly, it would take the 55-65 consumers, the most expensive people on the private market, out of the private market, leaving them with insurance pools that are younger and healthier. This means the insurer assumes less risk, and does not have to charge higher premiums. Finally, I just take issue with this whole Greece analogy. I love Greece, it’s history and culture, and am saddened by what’s happened there. It could happen anywhere. There’s no sign it’s happening here. We hear all this doomsday talk, and about the only similarity in the two situations is that there is a deficit in both nations. The bond market continues to buy American Treasury bonds at near zero rates. We quite literally, based on the market’s decisions and behavior, do not have a debt issue in the United States, today. I’m not saying I’m against all entitlement reforms. I could probably swallow mean’s testing on Medicare. I’m not crazy about it, but the program does cost more and more annually, and this could help. This is different though than harmful ideas, like raising the Medicare eligibility age, or turning Medicaid into a “block-grant” program. These ideas have no real point other than to kill the programs. The problem right now is that Democrats can’t even negotiate tough, but fair changes to entitlements with the GOP, because the GOP’s goal isn’t debt reduction, it’s the end of government. There’s no common ground.
Pennsylvania providers already feeling Medicare cuts, worrying about more to come
Among several examples: Hospitals now may lose Medicare money if too many patients are readmitted within 30 days of discharge — for any reason. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services cut home health payment rates by 3.79 percent in 2011 and 2012, and will cut home health by another 1.32 percent in 2013, said Jennifer E. Battista, communications director of the Pennsylvania Homecare Association. Another Medicare program for rural hospitals that serve a high number of seniors also was left unfunded. At Wayne Memorial Hospital in Honesdale, Wayne County, that will cost $1.7 million.
Medicare Key Issue in Close Pennsylvania Races
In the week since Romney’s announcement, Medicare has been catapulted from an issue that political strategists said could make a difference in close races to a central component of congressional campaigns nationwide — especially in states like Pennsylvania, Florida, Minnesota and Ohio with large numbers of older voters.
Pa. Home Health Care Providers Worried About Medicare Cuts
AAHomecare AARP AARP Public Policy Institute Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation Almost Family Amedisys Amedisys Inc. American Association for Homecare American Association for Long Term Care Insurance Apria Healthcare Group Avalere Health Brookdale Senior Living Care.com Center for Medicare Advocacy Centers for Medicar & Medicaid Services CMS Employee Benefit Research Institute Ensign Group featured First Care Home Health Care Gentiva Gentiva Health Services Gentiva Health Services Inc. HHS Home Health Depot Home Health International Houston Compassionate Care Humana IntegraCare Intel-GE Care Innovations Jordan Health Services Kindred Healthcare MDLIVE MedPAC Microsoft NAHC National Association for Home Care & Hospice Nationwide New York Times Northwestern Medicine Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare PHI Sentara Healthcare VA
Pennsylvania Federal Judge: HHS Must Turn Over Medicare Rulemaking Record
PHILADELPHIA – A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Oct. 16 ordered the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to produce the complete administrative record, as well as the rulemaking record, regarding Medicare’s Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) regulations. Two Pennsylvania hospitals are challenging whether inpatient hospital services provided under the state’s general medical assistance program are to be counted in Medicare’s DSH calculation (Nazareth Hospital, et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, No. 10-3513, E.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148745).Full story on lexis.com