What Health-Care Reform Really Means: Insured Through a Public Program

If You Are Insured Through a Public Program

By By Kate Pickert Thursday, July 30, 2009

Source: Time.com

26% are covered by Medicaid and/or Medicare

Current Situation: Seniors and many poor Americans rely on Medicare and Medicaid to insure them — for now. Baby boomers will soon stress the Medicare system, while states are struggling to meet Medicaid costs. Seniors face a gap in prescription-drug coverage, and low Medicaid reimbursements cause many providers to reject these patients.

How Reform Could Affect You
The upside: Pharmaceutical companies have agreed to cut drug prices to help close the prescription-drug-coverage gap. More Medicare focus on prevention and management of chronic diseases could lower the overall cost of the program, ensuring its long-term stability.

The downside: Lawmakers say increased efficiency could bring down Medicare spending, but they almost certainly would have to reduce coverage as well. Broadening eligibility criteria for Medicaid, which the House is proposing, would increase federal spending dramatically.

 

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