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.
This is the third in Budget Diagnosis, a series on the coming major decisions in Congress that could affect your health care. This series explains, simply, what advocates need to know, features special guests writing about different groups and populations that will be especially vulnerable, and provides you with updates from D.C. This post is a guest blog by Karen Davenport from the National Women’s Law Center. Check out our first two posts here.
A single mother goes to see her doctor in search of a treatment for the pain caused by her multiple sclerosis, which has persisted through many different treatments. Her doctor tells her about a new drug that has just come out that might finally do the trick and writes her a prescription. Excited, the mother goes to the pharmacy. But to her dismay, the pharmacist says that he can’t give her the drug unless she pays $150 on the spot.
Is newer always better? Not in the case of a pricey new cancer drug, according to clinical trial data and experts around the nation. The drug, Zaltrap, is getting lots of media attention not because it is novel for a new drug to be twice as expensive as its competitor and no more effective (the FDA doesn't require new medicines to be either more effective or less costly than existing drugs), but because Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center—one of the nation's premier cancer treatment centers—has decided that it won't offer Zaltrap to its patients.
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.
What Governor Romney Doesn’t Want People Over 55 to Hear About His Medicare Plan
Part 5: An unstable Medicare and losing your doctor
Today, President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius joined in on a national conference to talk about how health reform will affect seniors. People at dozens of viewing parties around the country tuned in to find out more about what’s in the new law and how generations to come will have the safety and security of having access to quality, affordable health care during retirement.
What Governor Romney Doesn’t Want People Over 55 to Hear About His Medicare Plan.
Part 4: Draining the Medicare trust fund
The words “doughnut hole” may summon thoughts of a delicious treat to someone under the age of 10, but for people with Medicare those same words represent something scary.
But how can doughnut holes be scary? In our health care system, when seniors and people with disabilities sign up for prescription drug benefits through Medicare Part D, there is a coverage gap that often results in elderly and disabled Americans paying way more than they can afford for prescription drugs. We call this the “doughnut hole.”
A five-part blog series about what’s really in Romney’s Medicare plan
Part 1: Higher prescription drug and preventive care costs