Lame Duck Session Brings Opportunities to Protect and Strengthen Medicare, Medicaid, and the ACA

Lindsey CopelandMedicare Watch0 Comments

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This week, lawmakers returned to Washington for the “lame duck” session, where they face a variety of issues to resolve before the end of the year. A lame duck session occurs when Congress reconvenes after an election, and is a reference to the outgoing members who still have voting powers. The lame duck outlook for health care programs is somewhat uncertain, but lawmakers will have several opportunities to protect and strengthen programs for older adults and people with disabilities. In the coming days, we’ll be asking Congress to prioritize Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act. Read More...

Advocacy Success: Improvements to Proposed Physician Payment Rules

Julie CarterMedicare Watch0 Comments

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Earlier this year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Advocacy (CMS)—the federal agency that oversees the Medicare program—proposed changing the way Medicare pays physicians, in part by creating a flat fee per office visit. As Medicare Rights and other commenters noted, doing so could have devastating consequences for people with Medicare. Read More...

What the Midterm Elections Mean for Medicare, Medicaid, and the ACA

Lindsey CopelandMedicare Watch0 Comments

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The 2018 midterm elections mean big changes are coming to Washington. When the 116th Congress convenes in January, it will be a divided one: Republicans will continue to control the Senate, but Democrats will have a majority in the House of Representatives for the first time in eight years. With split-party control, any legislation will require bipartisan support in order to pass. The need for such consensus greatly decreases the likelihood that radical, disruptive bills will reach the President’s desk in the coming years, and effectively eliminates the acute threats to Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that have dominated congressional conversations since 2017. Read More...

Guidance for Advocates to Help People Move from Expansion Medicaid to Medicare

Julie CarterMedicare Watch0 Comments

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Last week, the Medicare Rights Center and the National Council on Aging (NCOA) released a new resource on the expansion Medicaid-to-Medicare transition process. Our Expansion Medicaid Transitions Guide is designed, in part, to help advocates learn about their state’s transition process and better assist clients when they need to switch from expansion Medicaid to Medicare. The guide includes terminology, an overview of select state processes, and some troubleshooting steps advocates can consider when encountering problems. Read More...

Medicare is Under Threat This Election

Joe Baker and Judith SteinMedicare Watch0 Comments

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We told you so. Shortly after the passage of last year’s massive tax cut, our organizations stated that it would “result in a gaping revenue shortfall of $1.5 trillion or more, putting Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security directly in the cross-hairs of policy-makers seeking to pay for the tax cuts.” After driving up the deficit, it was clear that some policymakers would use the huge shortfall they created to justify cuts to programs like Medicare. Read More...