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As Medicare reaches age 50, we see periodic signs of limited efforts to move beyond its youthful exuberance as a full-fledged pay-as-you-go, fee-for-service, universal entitlement program and toward a somewhat more market-oriented direction. Most notably, the last decade since the passage of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 has produced rapid growth in enrollment in Medicare Advantage private plan options. Over 30% of Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in these more market-based alternatives to the traditional Medicare fee-for-service program.
Today’s 50th anniversary salutes to the enactment of the Medicare program on July 30, 1965 will emphasize how much Medicare changed the world of health insurance coverage and medical care for Americans over age 65. A closer look at the program’s origins and early history certainly confirms its primary accomplishments. However, it also suggests how improving necessary care for older Americans might have proceeded differently without producing some of Medicare’s chronic long-term problems that we continue to avoid dealing with today. (Part two of this post will examine how this history also offers some lessons to would-be repeal-and-replace critics of the five-year-old Affordable Care Act).
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Tomorrow is Milton Friedman’s birthday — he was born on July 31 in 1912 and would have been 103 years old tomorrow. Unfortunately, Milton died on November 16, 2006 when he was 94 years old. In an editorial in the Wall Street Journal following Professor Friedman’s death, they reported his loss with the same tribute […]
It would be great if all the GOP 2016ers developed meaningful plans. Not only do we want to avoid future crises and bailouts, but also to purge the cronyism from the American political economy. Now I’ve written about the merits of larger capital cushions and banks funding themselves more through equity than debt. Indeed, the WaPo’s Max Ehrenfreund mentioned my work in his piece on the Perry proposal. Certainly, the Glass Steagall stuff is the eye catcher. Some thoughts on that: […]
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