The keys to achieving the so-called golden years are clear: access to health care and a livable income. But we have to do more to assure that our growing elderly population enjoys a dignified and secure old age.
Clearly written and brimming with telling historical details and sharp insights, The Fierce Urgency of Now is essential reading not only for those who want to understand the Great Society but for everyone concerned with how it might be preserved or expanded.
Like the swallows returning noisily to Capistrano each spring, Congress has returned to D.C. following another midterm election, this time with the Republicans firmly in charge and already imposing their will on the legislative agenda.
Chronic kidney disease -- without the splashy races, ad campaigns, and extensive media coverage -- falls below the public radar. And because of that, a patient may be less likely to ask his or her doctor how to prevent it or even understand how it develops.
The basic principles were ratified in Obamacare and are no longer under serious challenge. The change hasn't relied entirely on government action, but reflects private sector movement in the same direction.
When I was an industry PR guy, I was part of a never-ending effort to defame the NHS, usually by citing a few anecdotes about Brits who claimed to endure long waits for needed care. The industry's propaganda got little resistance from the media or the American public.
The latest CBO report indicates that despite the current (and likely temporary) slowdown in the growth of Medicare spending, the long-term trajectory is unsustainable. But recognizing the problem is only the first step; you also have to make the right reforms. Fortunately, the Medicare program already has a built-in template for effective reform: Medicare Advantage (MA).
While Obamacare has been a step in the right direction, more and more people across the country understand that a single-payer healthcare system is the only way to guarantee quality care and at the same time reduce medical costs.
Scrapping complicated, costly, time-consuming eligibility tests would save billions. Substituting a program assuring all children their needed health care with no other eligibility condition than being a kid (that is, below a specified age) would accomplish their coverage. Let's call it Medikids.
People over age 60 are especially vulnerable to kidney disease both because they tend to take more drugs and because kidney function normally declines somewhat with age.
Although a lot of us may try to forget our age as the years go by, when it comes to reaping the financial rewards of getting older, you're wise to keep certain age-related milestones top of mind.
While Medicare covers a wide array of health care services, it certainly doesn't cover everything. If you need or want certain services that aren't covered, you'll have to pay for them yourself unless you have other insurance or you're in a Medicare Advantage health plan, which may cover some of these services. Here's a rundown of what original Medicare generally does not cover.
Taken together all these changes will probably be good for our health. But change is seldom welcome and transitions are often uncomfortable. There's are some big ones happening in medicine these days.
A new year often means new goals, new opportunities and new commitments. When it comes to your finances, it can also mean new rules and requirements that may affect how you manage your money.
IPAB is philosophically suspect among critics of the federal government. To detractors, its unusually broad authority seems like government overreach. The fact that Medicare costs are currently rising too slowly to trigger IPAB intervention is no guarantee costs won't rise faster in the future
The Affordable Care Act is the biggest coverage expansion in 50 years and is contributing to bringing health cost growth under control.