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Joe Baker

Entries by Joe Baker

Heard on the Helpline: Caller Trends Reveal Needed Improvements to Medicare

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2014 | 12:02 PM

Disclaimer: All names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.

This year is already looking to be a big one for Medicare. Congress is nearing an agreement on how to fix the flawed formula that determines physician reimbursement, the Administration recently proposed sweeping changes to...

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Better Prices on Medical Equipment -- Good for Medicare, Good for Beneficiaries

(9) Comments | Posted July 1, 2013 | 3:34 PM

Today the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expands a promising demonstration from nine to 91 communities across the country -- the competitive bidding demonstration for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS). In addition, the program opens nationally for diabetic supplies received through...

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Looking for Medicare Savings? Look No Further Than Big Pharma

(8) Comments | Posted April 17, 2013 | 10:14 AM

Yesterday, 19 Senators and several ranking House members introduced the Medicare Drug Savings Act of 2013 to secure over $140 billion in Medicare savings. This straightforward bill, endorsed by over 30 of the nation's leading health and aging advocates, would restore the federal government's...

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Three Reasons Why Medicare Cost-Shifting Is the Wrong Solution

(9) Comments | Posted February 21, 2013 | 2:24 PM

The president opened last week's State of the Union address calling for "modest" changes to contain Medicare costs. One of the president's primary audiences, Congress, faces a series of deadlines in the coming months, including automatic spending cuts on March 1, expiration of the federal budget patch on March 27...

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Who Pays for More Means Testing in Medicare? The Middle Class

(10) Comments | Posted December 21, 2012 | 10:21 PM

UPDATE: While the fiscal slope was, dare we say, averted, the debt ceiling and sequestration loom ahead. Proposals to shift costs to people with Medicare are still being actively pursued. Raising premiums for wealthier beneficiaries remains on the table. The underlying arguments outlined in this post remain true. More means...

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What's Reasonable About a 'Sick Tax' on Medigap Coverage?

(0) Comments | Posted December 6, 2012 | 5:27 PM

Medigap insurance, a widely used form of supplemental coverage to Medicare, was the subject of a leading article published by the Washington Post earlier this week. Because Medicare covers only 48 percent of the average beneficiary's health care and long term care costs, most people with...

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Don't Cut Medicare Benefits -- Tackle Drug Prices

(9) Comments | Posted November 29, 2012 | 11:07 AM

As the approach of the so-called "Fiscal Cliff" nears, many advocates nationwide are making this message clear: Medicare benefit cuts are not an option. In a letter to the president and Congress, AARP states, "As we move forward, it is clear that older Americans want the focus of...

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Controlling Rising Health Care Costs: Medicare Is the Solution, Not the Problem

(9) Comments | Posted November 13, 2012 | 3:06 PM

Although Election Day is behind us, Medicare remains on American's minds. Medicare ranked third to the economy and federal deficit as an issue of extreme importance in deciding how Americans voted. For months now, pundits, candidates and policymakers have wrestled one another about Medicare's future. Taking place at town...

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