The most significant improvements to the quality and safety of long-term care in the last 20 years were included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). But few people are aware of these changes because they have been overshadowed by all the controversy and misinformation that has surrounded the enactment of the comprehensive health reform law. Simply put, these provisions will improve the lives of millions of seniors and people with disabilities—and they deserve attention.
No one knows for sure just how much waste, fraud, and abuse occurs in the Medicare system, but everyone agrees there’s plenty of work to be done.
For example, one estimate says that Medicare could save as much as 30 percent if it could stop the delivery of unnecessary care. Everyone knows someone who’s received the same test twice—that’s wasteful, and coming improvements to the health care system, such as electronic medical records, should help address this problem.
Many of you have sent in questions about how the new health care law will affect you and your family. We’ve compiled answers for select questions to our experts in a short series to help you navigate changes to the health care system. Here's the latest:
Question: I am a single mom with a severely disabled daughter and have great concern about "rationed" health care affecting the most vulnerable people in our society; i.e., the elderly and disabled. Please discuss how reform will not adversely affect this population.
Despite months of "the sky is falling" predictions from health reform’s opponents, Medicare Part D beneficiaries will not see huge increases in Medicare Part D premiums next year.
Refutes the claim that the Affordable Care Act will make cuts to Medicare and explains how the law will help people with Medicare.
Friday, July 30, marked the 45th anniversary of the enactment of Medicare. The program was established when President Johnson signed the Social Security Amendments of 1965 into law. This law has forever changed the way seniors and people with disabilities receive their health care. Millions of seniors have come to rely on the Medicare program to provide them with affordable, quality, and reliable health coverage—it is one of the most popular and effective programs among the populations it serves.
Some of you may know TV legend Andy Griffith by his work, and some of you may have just heard about him through your parents. He was known as the ornery old lawyer on Matlock and was probably most popular as the wise sheriff of the fictional town Mayberry on the Andy Griffith Show in the late 1960s. Now, 50 years later, he’s back and just like the old times, he’s offering sage advice to the American public.
Dr. Donald Berwick was sworn in today as the new Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Without a leader since 2006, the appointment of Dr. Berwick is a long-awaited addition to the federal agency. Dr. Berwick is widely known as a pioneer in the field of health care quality. The American Medical Association announced its support for Berwick weeks ago, stating,
One of the most popular arguments of opponents of the health reform law is that the law does nothing to ‘fix’ Medicare, which they claim is full of waste and fraud. Like most of the rhetoric coming from the opposition, this argument is just not true.