These 5 articles offer a comprehensive look at the challenges to health care reform today: fiscal responsibility, failing Medicare programs, and low access to health benefits. Take a look.
A Closer Look At The Medicare Trustees’ Report
The latest report from Medicare’s trustees, released yesterday drives home what many already know: Medicare poses a serious long-term budgeting challenge. But a close look look at the report also suggests that, while reforms and savings are clearly needed in the Medicare program, it would also be worthwhile and realistic to look at options for increasing revenues to protect the welfare of vulnerable beneficiaries.
Is Health Reform Fiscally Responsible?
Is health reform fiscally responsible? A recent Mercatus Center report by Charles Blahous has challenged the “yes” conclusion reached by the Congressional Budget Office and supporters of the recent law, but that challenge is based on contradictory assumptions and a false premise. Those flaws have not prevented the right wing echo chamber from making such claims “news,” but they should be clarified and revealed for what they are.
In Hopeful Sign, Health Spending Is Flattening Out
In 2009 and 2010, total nationwide health care spending grew less than 4 percent per year, the slowest annual pace in more than five decades, according to the latest numbers from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. After years of taking up a growing share of economic activity, health spending held steady in 2010, at 17.9 percent of the gross domestic product.
Fewer Workers Have Access to Health Benefits
The EBRI report notes that the percentage of the population with employment-based health benefits is lower than in previous years, most recently due to the 2007–2009 recession, but also as part of a longer-term trend that has seen fewer workers with access to health coverage.
Implementing Health Reform
The Supreme Court continues to mull the fate of the Affordable Care Act. The House of Representatives continues to push budget bills that would defund ACA programs. Many state legislatures have adjourned for the year without taking significant action to implement state exchanges.