Saturday, February 28, 2015
Medicare
Mitt Romney speaks to fellow Republicans at a dinner during the Republican National Committee's Annual Winter Meeting aboard the USS Midway on January 16, 2015 in San Diego, California (AFP/Sandy Huffaker)

End Poverty? Reduce Inequality? What Republicans Must Do First

Republican candidates say they want to reduce poverty and inequality. But how can they become the change?

January 27, 2015
Money

How Are Federal Dollars Divided Among States?

Find out which states rely the most on government spending.

December 10, 2014
obamacare

Maximizing Your Health Benefits Before Year’s End

Your insurer must provide a simple “summary of benefits” that can help you save money — before the New Year.

December 9, 2014
obamacare

U.S. Health Care Spending Up In 2013, But At Record Low Growth Rate

Health care costs are growing at historically low levels.

December 3, 2014
Barack Obama

Why I’m (Still) Thankful For President Obama

Yes, he makes mistakes, and he has flaws — but Barack Obama’s achievements, temperament, and persistence are worthy of thanks.

November 27, 2014
social security

Social Security’s No-Bad-News Day

By Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times The annual trustees reports for Social Security and Medicare customarily give rise to an outburst of disinformation from the enemies of social insurance programs — that comes with the territory when you’re putting out hundreds of pages densely packed with graphs, charts and statistics. There may be less of […]

July 31, 2014
Burwell

Medicare Finances Improve As Health Care Inflation Slows, Trustees Say

By David Lauter, Tribune Washington Bureau WASHINGTON — Improvements in health care costs have extended the life of Medicare’s main trust fund by four years, the annual report of the Social Security and Medicare trustees said Monday, a further sign of the positive effect of lower medical inflation. Medicare Part B premiums are expected to […]

July 28, 2014
Mitch McConnell voting

WATCH: Kentucky Senate Race Gets Even More Negative

This has been a week of negative, not entirely true ads from both parties in Kentucky’s contentious Senate race. Democratic nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes released an ad on Tuesday accusing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) of trying to raise seniors’ health care costs. It features a retired coal miner, Don Disney — surely chosen so […]

July 10, 2014
Florida hospital

Medicare Overpays Billions For Office Visits, Patient Evaluations

by Charles Ornstein, ProPublica. Medicare spent $6.7 billion too much for office visits and other patient evaluations in 2010, according to a new report from the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. But in its reply to the findings, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which runs Medicare, said […]

May 29, 2014
Obamacare navigator

Affordable Care Act, Spending Cuts Slow Health Care Hiring

By Kevin G. Hall, McClatchy Washington Bureau WASHINGTON — In the dark hours of the Great Recession, it was one of the few economic bright spots. Week in, week out, the health care sector was adding jobs — at a time when construction, manufacturing and retail hiring were mired in quicksand. Now, health care is […]

May 26, 2014
florida flag 427x321

Miami Man Missing Off Florida Keys, May Have Fled To Avoid Medicare Fraud Charges

By Beatrice Dupuy and Jay Weaverm, The Miami Herald MIAMI — A Miami man has vanished after a fishing trip in the Florida Keys — or possibly fled to Cuba to escape pending Medicare fraud charges. The U.S. Coast Guard said Thursday that it is continuing its search for Robert A. Garcia-Esquerro, who disappeared after leaving […]

May 9, 2014
At scene of Nevada ranch standoff, ‘citizen soldiers’ are on guard

Cliven Bundy’s Window Into The War On The Poor

Republicans were quick to distance themselves from the Nevada rancher after his remarks about slavery, but he points to a deeper issue with conservative policy. It’s tempting dismiss Cliven Bundy – the Nevada rancher who last week suggested that blacks were better off under slavery – as a fringe conservative unworthy of any more airtime. […]

May 5, 2014
Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

LOL Of The Week: The GOP Is Closer To A ‘Death Spiral’ Than Obamacare Ever Was

While Republicans have been plotting about what to do with control of the U.S. Senate, they’re trying to ignore how the debate over Obamacare has now shifted to whether the law has “won” or is simply “winning.” Some Republicans want to dull its sudden veneer of success by delaying any verdict about the law until […]

April 18, 2014
hands off medicare

Medicaid Expansion: Arkansas And Other States Cut Deals With Feds For Alternative Plans

By Michael Collins, The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.) WASHINGTON — If Gov. Bill Haslam is searching for clues about what kind of deal Tennessee might be able to cut with the federal government to expand Medicaid, he should look just across the Mississippi River. Arkansas was the first state to get a federally approved waiver allowing […]

April 15, 2014
Opthamologist

First, Do No Harm — To Your Bank Account

After being sued by The Wall Street Journal, the government finally released its Medicare reimbursement data last week. It included the less-than-stunning revelation that 28 of the 100 doctors who received the largest payments in 2012 were from Florida. No other state came close. And no physician in the country billed Medicare for bigger bucks […]

April 15, 2014
colbert

LOL Of The Week: Middle-Class Conservatives Don’t Get That The Joke Is On Them

Conservative pundits exploded on Thursday when CBS announced that Stephen Colbert would be replacing David Letterman as the host of The Late Show. And they weren’t just mad because a highly paid and powerful position didn’t go to a member of the Bush family. “Low-Rated Hyper-Partisan Lefty to Replace David Letterman,” screamed a headline from […]

April 11, 2014
Doctor And Patient During Chemotherapy Treatment

Release Of Medicare Doctor Payments Shows Some Huge Payouts

By Chad Terhune, Noam N. Levey and Doug Smith, Los Angeles Times Ending decades of secrecy, Medicare is showing what the giant health care program for seniors pays individual doctors, and the figures reveal that more than a dozen physicians received in excess of $10 million each in 2012. The Obama administration released a detailed account […]

April 9, 2014
Paul Ryan

5 Ways Paul Ryan’s Budget Screws Seniors

Republicans marched to their biggest landslide victory since before the Great Depression in 2010, buoyed by a terrible economy and the withering attack that Democrats had cut Medicare to fund Obamacare. Democrats saw their 4-point advantage with voters over 65 in 2008 turned into a 6 percent disadvantage in 2010. In 2012 Democrats won 2 […]

April 9, 2014
retire

Stanford’s New School For Aspiring Retirees To Mold Satisfying Second Careers

By Lisa M. Krieger, San Jose Mercury News SAN JOSE, California—Stanford University is looking for a new kind of student: proven leaders, with 20 to 30 years of work experience, seeking to reinvent their futures. A small experiment launched this week offers older students the opportunity not to retire but retrain — and commit to new […]

April 4, 2014

5 Things You Need To Know About New GOP ‘Frontrunner’ Rand Paul

A new CBS/New York Times poll has bad news for the man who can only now be called a former frontrunner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination — Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ). With 41 percent of Republicans saying they don’t want the governor to run and only 31 percent saying they do, he’s the only […]

February 26, 2014
paulryanofficial

How Paul Ryan Helped Save Medicare And Social Security By Trying To Gut Them

President Obama’s new budget will not include a proposal to implement “chained CPI” to slow the growth of Social Security benefits, according to White House officials. And there’s one man who deserves most of the credit for making sure there will be no cuts to benefits to seniors until at least 2017 — ironically the […]

February 20, 2014
Health

States Meld Medicare And Medicaid

Christine Vestal, Stateline.org WASHINGTON — They are a diverse group of low-income people who are disabled or elderly. Many have multiple chronic illnesses, or are battling depression or substance abuse. Most will need long-term care at some point in their lives. In the nearly 50 years since Medicaid and Medicare were enacted, the two health […]

February 17, 2014
Hospitals told to reduce patient readmissions or lose money

Hospitals Told To Reduce Patient Readmissions Or Lose Money

By Bernard J. Wolfson and Ronald Campbell, The Orange County Register Medicare will dock payments this year for hospitals in hopes of spurring them to reduce the number of patients who are re-hospitalized too quickly. Government and commercial insurers view lower readmissions as a sign of higher-quality care and greater cost consciousness by hospitals. The […]

February 14, 2014
Florida hospital

Hospitals Told To Reduce Patient Readmissions Or Lose Money

By Bernard J. Wolfson and Ronald Campbell, The Orange County Register Medicare will dock payments this year for hospitals in hopes of spurring them to reduce the number of patients who are re-hospitalized too quickly. Government and commercial insurers view lower readmissions as a sign of higher-quality care and greater cost consciousness by hospitals. The pay […]

February 14, 2014
Obamacare RS

Obamacare Enrollment Continues To Rise In January

WASHINGTON — About 3 million people have now enrolled in health insurance plans sold through marketplaces created by President Barack Obama’s health law, the administration announced Friday. The milestone indicates nearly a million additional people have signed up since the end of December. It also suggests that the marketplaces are continuing to recover from a […]

January 24, 2014