Medicare is the nation’s primary health insurance program for senior citizens over the age of 65, certain people with disabilities, and people of any age with permanent kidney failure. The government-run program provides health coverage to nearly 47 million people, and is a source of coverage for one in seven Americans.
While Medicare provides coverage to all who qualify due to age or disability, many of its beneficiaries are low-income Americans. The Census Bureau’s 2012 Statistical Abstract concluded that among the 47 million enrollees, 41% lived below the federal poverty level.
The recently enacted Affordable Care Act provides new benefits to Medicare beneficiaries and strengthens the Medicare trust fund. Nevertheless, as a potential solution to addressing our nation’s long-term deficit, some elected officials have proposed cutting Medicare, Medicaid and/or the Affordable Care Act and shifting more of the cost burden of health care onto consumers or states. However, the increase in spending on federal health care programs is due to the aging of the population and the sharply rising cost of health care in the economy as a whole. Shifting more of the burden to consumers or states does nothing to address the underlying problem of escalating costs.
For more information on this issue, visit CHN’s Public Policy Priorities, 2015-2016.
- January 11, 2017ATF: How Obamacare Repeal Helps Rich, Hurts Poor
Policy Analyses and Research
- February 21, 2017CBPP: Program Spending as a Percent of GDP Historically Low Outside Social Security and Medicare, and Projected to Fall Further
- January 6, 2017The Economic and Employment Consequences of Repealing Federal Health Reform: A 50 State Analysis
June 2, 2015CAP: A Strategy for Medicare Payment Reform
August 6, 2014CBPP: CBO Findings Refute the Medicare Part D Myth
September 27, 2011CBPP: The Problems with Converting Medicare to "Premium Support"
Human Needs Report
Latest Edition: February 20, 2017
Congress is currently in its first recess of the year. Here’s a look at what members tackled before the break, and what‘s waiting for them when they return on Feb. 27. Read on for articles on FY17 & FY18 budget and appropriations work, House Republicans’ plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Trump’s cabinet, and worker protections under threat. Read More »
- This is the world of Ryancare
- A father's message to Congress: 'I cannot protect my son's health, but you can'
- Human Needs Report: Spending work, the ACA, Trump's cabinet and more
- ‘A lot more people, I can tell you, will die for lack of medical care’
- Resources from around the Coalition: Presidents' Day recess edition
CHN in the News
- CHN Says Move to Confirm Tom Price "Not In The Public Interest,' Calls On Full Senate to Withhold Support
- More than 1,300 Groups Tell Congress and Trump: Don't Take America Backwards, Reject Efforts to Cut and Strait-Jacket Human Needs Programs