What Do Proposed Cuts Mean For Medicare’s Future?
The LA Times examines whether recent proposals to raise Medicare's eligibility age might find traction in the future - maybe now, maybe after the 2012 election. Meanwhile, CQ HealthBeat offers an analysis about why cutting Medicare is so difficult.
Los Angeles Times: Raising Medicare Costs May Be Gaining Traction
The heated debate over the federal deficit has pumped new life into controversial proposals for requiring Americans on Medicare to pay more for their health care, raising the possibility that seniors' medical bills could jump hundreds or even thousands of dollars. It remains unclear if any of the proposals, which congressional Republicans have demanded to cut trillions of dollars from the federal budget, will be enacted this year, given the continued stalemate over government spending. But the ideas, once considered politically toxic, have gained enough traction that many in Washington expect them to resurface, if not now, then after the 2012 election (Levey, 7/15).
CQ HealthBeat: Study: Why Cutting Medicare Is So Hard
For years, analysts have issued dire warnings that America's economic future will be threatened if lawmakers fail to control Medicare spending - with relatively little effect. So what exactly explains the gridlock over Medicare? A new study that analyzes the role played by public and voter opinion finds four basic reasons: Medicare is, in general, popular with the public; most Americans don't want it changed; most Americans think the budget can be balanced without cutting Medicare; and, oh yes, there's the little matter of that special election in upstate New York (Reichard, 7/14).