Modern Healthcare has documented every Medicare and Medicaid milestone and challenge since Crain Communications purchased the magazine in 1976. This section commemorates the programs' 50th anniversary by providing some history and an overview of their challenges.
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum and a former Congressional Budget Office director, writes that Medicare and Medicaid have an obligation to provide high-quality care to America's seniors and low-income beneficiaries, and they must be made financially sustainable.
Georgetown University professor and former HHS official Judy Feder writes that the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid enactment calls for a celebration. Medicare provides health insurance protection to virtually all older Americans and many workers who become disabled.
Medicare and Medicaid evolved in dramatically different ways. Medicare, which provided health coverage for seniors, became the third rail of American politics. Medicaid, a state-based program that provided health coverage for the poor, existed in a political netherworld. All that is about to change.
While politicians debate the future of Medicare and Medicaid, few question that those programs are here to stay. It's easy to forget how controversial the idea of government healthcare programs was for most of the 20th century, and how many decades it took to enact the programs.
Before Medicaid was established, low-income Americans had limited access to healthcare, relying heavily on charity care and public hospitals. "To be old and poor and sick was to suffer and to die prematurely,” said Trish Riley of the National Academy for State Health Policy.
The CMS is about to release a sweeping proposed rule that could fuel a major expansion of Medicaid managed long-term care for elderly and disabled beneficiaries.
The CMS is appearing to blink in its stare down with Florida over Medicaid expansion. The agency informed state officials that it tentatively plans to renew a waiver that has provided Florida billions in supplemental Medicaid funding to help hospitals with uncompensated-care costs.
The Congressional Budget Office is under new leadership, and the agency made it clear Tuesday that a different type of economic analysis will be used to study the effects of federal spending policies, particularly those in healthcare. That could affect projections regarding the ACA.
Gov. David Ige's administration says Hawaii's health insurance exchange will have to make changes to comply with federal Affordable Care Act.
Reports of low enrollment are not dampening CMS officials' optimism over moves aimed at improving coordination of care for millions of low-income and disabled Americans who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare.
Gov. Tom Wolf's administration has been transitioning beneficiaries as he dismantles his GOP predecessor's alternative Medicaid expansion. But rate concerns and plan exits are raising questions about care continuity.