KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Medicare Warnings, Entitlement Cuts Draw Attention

Meanwhile, KQED reports on efforts to coordinate coverage for baby-boomers who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid.

Politico: Advocates React To Steny Hoyer's Medicare Warning
Medicare advocates are saying enough is enough to the news that House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer thinks Medicare may need further "adjustments." Asked by Politico whether Democrats could be counted on to protect Medicare benefits and act to control premium increases, Hoyer said this week that the political reality is that the program may need to save more money (Coughlin, 1/20).

The New York Times: Poll Finds Wariness About Cutting Entitlements
As President Obama and Congress brace to battle over how to reduce chronic annual budget deficits, Americans overwhelmingly say that in general they prefer cutting government spending to paying higher taxes, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. Yet their preference for spending cuts, even in programs that benefit them, dissolves when they are presented with specific options related to Medicare and Social Security, the programs that directly touch the most people and also are the biggest drivers of the government's projected long-term debt (Calmes and Sussman, 1/20).

KQED/California Report: Streamlining Care for Medicare-Medicaid Recipients
The first wave of baby boomers started to turn 65 this month, making many of them eligible for at least one of two types of government health coverage: Medicare and Medicaid. For those whose disability, poor health or low incomes make them eligible for both, coordinating coverage is a challenge (Varney, 1/20).

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