Health Care Policy and Reform

Slow Growth in Medicare and Medicaid Spending Per Enrollee Has Implications for Policy Debates

Since 2006, national health expenditure (NHE) growth has been slow relative to historic growth rates. Annual spending growth between 2006 and 2017 averaged 5.2 percent for Medicare, 6 percent for Medicaid, and 4.4 percent for private health insurance. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) project much faster growth in Medicare and Medicaid spending […]

42% of New Cancer Patients Lose Their Life Savings

62 percent of cancer patients report being in debt due to their treatment. 55 percent accrue at least $10,000 in debt, while 3 percent file for bankruptcy. Cancer costs exceed $80 billion in America each year. Rebecca Meyer was diagnosed with glioblastoma when she was 5 years old. She fought bravely for 10 months before […]

Why Is Medicine So Expensive?

The prominence of high drug prices among current American grievances derives from three recent episodes. In 2014 Gilead Sciences brought out Sovaldi, a drug that cures hepatitis C within twelve weeks but costs $1,000 a pill, making the price of a full course of treatment $84,000. In 2015 Turing Pharmaceuticals, a new company headed by […]

Home Is Where The Money Is For Medicare Advantage Plans

Some of the senior citizens who called Arizona insurance agent Denise Early wondered why their Medicare Advantage health plans were eager to send a doctor to visit them at home. A few worried that the offer might be a scam. After all, they asked, how many doctors make house calls these days? More than people […]

Health Insurers Have Their Way With Regulators

Four years ago, Medicare auditors came to an alarming conclusion: the federal government shouldn’t have paid a half-dozen insurance plans hundreds of millions of dollars to treat seniors in especially poor health. The findings signaled that billing errors could be deeply rooted within private Medicare Advantage plans — which contract with the federal government to […]