Posted April 20, 2012 3:27 EST
Fact/Fiction: Individual Responsibility Has Nothing To Do With the Health Care Cost Issues Facing Our Nation
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People who don’t exercise, who are overweight, who smoke or who drink to excess are more likely to get sick and to develop chronic ailments that will require increasingly expensive medical care.
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Posted April 18, 2012 7:31 EST
Fact/Fiction: If Other First-World Countries Can Make Single-Payer Systems Work the United States Can Too
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Other countries have a different historical approach to these issues, so their systems are very different from the U.S. model, which offers a complex mixture of public and private insurance programs. Some, like Great Britain, have a national health service in which doctors are salaried employees of the government, which also owns and runs the hospitals.
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Posted April 18, 2012 6:57 EST
Fact/Fiction: If Doctors and Hospitals Are Paid Less, the Outlook on Medicare’s Future Is Better
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Cuts to providers may damage access to care. Some states with financial pressures from depressed revenues during the Great Recession have been cutting Medicaid payments to doctors and hospitals, and this has created shortages of physicians willing to accept new Medicaid patients.
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Posted April 12, 2012 5:05 EST
Fact/Fiction: Doctors and Hospitals Help Save Money for Medicare
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Doctors and hospitals are paid according to Medicare regulations and complex price rules. There is a detailed diagnostic system. The fee-for-service payment system for doctors drives spending for Medicare, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
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Posted April 10, 2012 2:01 EST
Fact/Fiction: The Private Sector Can Do a Better Job of Controlling Health Care Costs Than the Federal Government
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Medicare spending has been rising more slowly than spending in the private insurance system. Medicare spending rose at an annual rate of 2.78 percent during the year ending in March 2011, compared with an increase of 7.57 percent for the commercial health insurance industry
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Posted April 04, 2012 7:07 EST
Fact/Fiction: Reduced Payments to Insurers Will Result in a Drop in Enrollment in Medicare Advantage Programs
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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) reduces payments to Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare has been paying about 14 percent more for the care of people in these plans than it spends for the average beneficiary who is in traditional Medicare. When Congress cut payments previously, many plans withdrew from markets that became unprofitable and membership in the plans dropped significantly. This could happen again.
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Posted April 03, 2012 11:52 EST
Fact/Fiction: The Bulk of Our Medicare Dollars Are Spent on Acute Care During the Final Weeks of Life
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Spending is much higher during the last year of life for Medicare beneficiaries. During most of Medicare’s history, the figure has been in the 25 percent range. The most recent official study, covering the period 1992 to 1999, shows average spending of $22,588 for the last year of life, compared to an average of $3,901 for the Medicare beneficiary who survives the year.
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