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How did Kissinger get into Clinton-Sanders debate?
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger listens to a question at China Development Forum, in Beijing March 21, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Lee  Reuters
Clinton, Sanders clash over costs at debate

Challenging job: President Trump’s top diplomat
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally aboard the USS Iowa on September 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. Donald Trump is campaigning in Los Angeles a day ahead of the CNN GOP debate that will be broadcast from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)  Getty Images
Voters don’t care about promises — just vision

Looks like time for bottom fishing in U.S. stocks

Stocks will likely be higher in six months
The Dow’s downtrend is now official
5 signs we’re in a bear market

What ‘affordable’ Tesla Model 3 means for buyers
What the ‘affordable’ Tesla Model 3 rollout means for car buyers Getty Images
Tesla predicts rosy 2016 —can Musk deliver?
Tesla’s Model 3: The 5 things we now know

Why you probably won’t see 99-cents-a-gallon gas
 Getty Images

The top 10 tax havens for individuals in the world
 Shutterstock.com
Watch out for these tricky tax issues this year

A rare bit of good news about dementia
LLANDUDNO, WALES - SEPTEMBER 08:  Senior citizens walk along Llandudno Pier on September 8, 2014 in Llandudno, Wales. Britain is facing multiple problems stemming from an increase in the elderly proportion of its population, including increasing health care costs, strains on its social security system, a shortage of senior care workers and challenges to the employment market.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)  Getty Images

Don’t get smoked by your marijuana investment
Don't get smoked by your marijuana investment Getty Images

Burger King’s hot dog plan is so crazy it could work
Burger King to make its biggest menu change yet  Getty Images

Actually, the most popular new emoji isn’t the taco
Rolling eyes are the most popular of the new iOs emojis for iPhone users.

need to know
Pope Francis in Cuba for historic meeting
Shake Shack plans to open in St. Louis
Zika vaccine is at least a year and a half away
U.S., Russia agree to terms of Syrian cease-fire
10 big stories you’ve missed this week
Biggest rise in Treasury yields in 2½ months
Import prices drop 1.1% on cheaper oil
Uber to pay riders millions to settle safety suits
Mattel names new boss for Barbie business

Grammys make Memphis candy shop a winner

How grocery business got ‘barbell’ shape

Penney responds to lawsuit over Burberry plaid
Kohl’s eliminates three executives
Retail sales increase 0.2% in January

This can’t be why Apple made Beats deal with Dre

Google exec squirms when questioned about pay

Economists increasingly see Fed hands as tied
What central-bank failures mean for investors
Have central banks lost market credibility?

First-quarter earnings forecast is getting worse

Big banks are fleeing the mortgage market
Big banks are fleeing the mortgage market
Boomers are loading up on debt, not millennials

CEO Jamie Dimon’s $26 million bet on J.P. Morgan
Jamie Dimon joins the ex-billionaires club

LONDON - SEPTEMBER 15:  A financial news update in Canary Wharf on September 15, 2008 in London, England. The fourth largest American investment bank has announced that it's filing for bankruptcy protection during a growing financial crisis.  (Photo by Cate Gillon/Getty Images)
Is it 2008 all over again? (And what to expect if it is)

Time for a coordinated response to China’s yuan
Japan warns investors about the surging yen
Worried about the stock market? Watch yen

Sweden’s negative  rate isn’t as scary as it appears

Think like Buffett, and buy what's ugly
Think like Buffett, and buy stocks at their worst

5 things to know about the Costco and AmEx breakup

6 perfect roles for Martin Shkreli, Hollywood’s next leading man
Martin Shkreli: Star of stage, screen and pharma
There’s a ‘Jane’ in nearly all Hollywood scripts

Taxpayers already paying for future Super Bowls

Beer’s incessant infighting clouds the big picture

How to buy a used car
The correct way to go about buying a used car

College freshmen are most liberal since Vietnam


/conga/frontpage.html 367869

Markets »

132.55MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 132.70M
Unchanged
134
Decliners
1500
Advancers
4873
Price Chg %Chg 1 Day
Range: 1 Day
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/quotes/zigman/627449/realtime 15,974 +314 2.00%
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/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,338 +71 1.66%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 1,865 +36 1.95%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,070 +23 1.11%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,239 -9 0.75%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 29.02 +2.81 10.72%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 5,708 +171 3.08%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 8,968 +215 2.45%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 3,995 +98 2.52%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 16,515 +742 4.70%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 7,921 +175 2.25%
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/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 312 +9 2.91%
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/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 2,385 -51 2.10%
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/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 14,953 -761 4.84%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 18,320 -226 1.22%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 2,763 -18 0.63%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 22,986 +34 0.15%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 2,540 +2 0.07%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/16008136/realtime/sampled 1.13 -0.01 0.61%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/16008150/realtime/sampled 113.25 +0.83 0.74%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/16008140/realtime/sampled 1.45 +0.00 0.18%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/16008115/realtime/sampled 0.71 0.00 0.04%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 95.97 +0.36 0.38%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/41508961/realtime 88.99 +0.23 0.26%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 1.75 0.00 0.00%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.26 +0.07 37.97%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 1.64 -0.08 4.67%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 1.74 -0.04 2.01%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 1.42 0.00 0.00%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime 0.08 +0.06 442.45%
Crude Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 29 +3 10.72%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,239 -9 0.75%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/25518691/delayed 359 -1 0.35%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/48241424/delayed 15,925 +313 2.00%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/43106711/delayed 1,860 +36 1.95%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/32655632/delayed 16 0 0.03%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite 102.01 0.10 0.10%
AAPL /quotes/zigman/68270/composite 93.99 0.29 0.31%
GOOG /quotes/zigman/59527964/composite 682.40 -0.71 -0.10%
BAC /quotes/zigman/190927/composite 11.95 0.79 7.08%
C /quotes/zigman/5065548/composite 37.54 2.56 7.32%
F /quotes/zigman/264304/composite 11.55 0.38 3.40%
T /quotes/zigman/398198/composite 36.47 0.26 0.72%
BP /quotes/zigman/247026/composite 29.02 1.38 4.99%
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5 yr CD
1.3%
2 yr CD
0.7%
1 yr CD
0.6%
MMA $10K+
0.2%
MMA $50K+
0.4%

National averages from Bankrate.com

You Don’t Need Another Credit Card, You Need A Better One.
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 11.96% 11.96% 11.62%
Business 13.12% 13.12% 12.85%
Student 13.42% 13.42% 13.14%
Balance Transfer 14.35% 14.35% 14.12%
Airline 15.17% 15.17% 15.10%
Cash Back 15.20% 15.26% 15.27%
Reward 15.25% 15.28% 15.14%
Instant Approval 18.02% 18.21% 18.00%
Bad Credit 22.56% 22.88% 22.73%
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Encore
A blog about living in and planning for retirement

Unraveling the Myths of Medicare

Medicare is going broke, right? As you might imagine, the facts are somewhat more complicated. The best place to start is to examine the “Top Ten Myths of Medicare.”

mayamaya / Shutterstock.com

That’s the title of a new and valuable paper by Richard L. Kaplan, a professor at the University of Illinois College of Law. Published in the Elder Law Journal, the research couldn’t come at a better time: With the presidential election now less than three months away, you’re sure to be inundated with claims and counterclaims about Medicare and its future.

“Only if the many myths that surround [Medicare] are debunked,” Kaplan writes, “can the difficult decisions and inevitable policy trade-offs be developed that will maintain the program’s singular importance for older Americans.”

Take the idea of bankruptcy. To start, the Medicare program has several distinct parts, with different ways of financing their costs, Prof. Kaplan notes. For instance, Medicare Parts B and D (which cover physician charges and prescription drugs, respectively) use premiums paid by current-year enrollees and general-tax revenues.

“In other words, Medicare Parts B and D are funded on a current-year basis and as a result cannot ‘go bankrupt’ in any customary sense of that phrase,” Prof. Kaplan writes.

Yes, the program as a whole, he adds, could become a “serious and exploding drain” on the federal government’s budget. But lawmakers have the ability to appropriate funds as they see fit. “If future Congresses prioritize this program over other competing demands, Medicare can continue to pay its bills in full and on time,” he says.

Other prominent “myths” that Prof. Kaplan addresses include:

“Medicare is politically immune to budgetary reduction.” Not so. The program has faced “substantial and repeated budget cuts throughout its existence,” Prof. Kaplan notes.

“Increased longevity will sink Medicare.” Yes, the number of beneficiaries — given the aging of the baby boom generation — will increase substantially. And yes, beneficiaries who live longer than their predecessors typically incur higher cumulative health care costs after age 65 — “but many of those costs are not borne by the Medicare program,” Prof. Kaplan writes.

“Medicare pays for long-term care.” Yes, Medicare pays for some long-term care — but the key word is “some.” The program doesn’t pay for most long-term care — and the coverage it does provide comes with “some rather severe restrictions,” Prof. Kaplan says.

In short, spending a few minutes with this research is well worth your time. It will get you up to speed for the election — and, perhaps more important, help you understand how Medicare works.

Comments

We welcome thoughtful comments from readers. Please comply with our guidelines. Our blogs do not require the use of your real name.

Comments (5 of 8)

View all Comments »
    • I am very disappointed in our Congress the very peolpe who’s main concern is to protect their constituents have failed the American peolpe by passing the heallth care bill without knowing what it actually contains. It is also irresponsible of them to lower medicare fees which are already to low ,it would nice however if the goverment would pay 21.3% of the Doctors overhead expenses.

    • Trustees 2012 Audit: Medicare and SS liabilities exceed trust funds by $38.6T thru 2086.It would need $700B per year in new funds to pay all projected benefits. That’s approximately equal to the deficit. We just need to have balanced budgets continuously for 75 years and all is well. That was easy.

    • Actually Medicare and Social Security are not technially 36 percent of “federal spending” as claimed in one note above (although the military really does consume 56 percent of federal spending but we aren’t allowed to talk about that). That’s because Social Security and Medicare A are technically insurance programs. They are financed independently of the general fund and are definitely not part of the general fund. That’s why Congress is constantly robbing the independent Social Security trust fund, which is very solvent and very well run, in order to pay for attacking countries that did not attack us. The military is currently consuming 1.2 Trillion dollars per year in taxpayer money.

      Here’s a thought: if you divide the average detatched home price of $175,000 into the 12,000,000,000,000 we’ve spent attacking coutries that did not attack us over the last ten years we could have given away 68 Million free homes to citizens of our own country. But military spending has to remain the primary spending we do because we are unworthy of receiving nice things.

    • Don’t worry, be happy!!!!!

      I think I get the picture on how Prof. Kaplan plans to cast his ballot in November.

About Encore

  • Encore examines the changing nature of retirement, from new rules and guidelines for financial security to the shifting identities and priorities of today’s retirees. The blog also explores news that affects retirement, from the Wall Street Journal Digital Network and around the web. Lead bloggers are reporter Catey Hill and senior editor Jeremy Olshan. Other contributors include The Wall Street Journal’s retirement columnists Glenn Ruffenach and Anne Tergesen; the Director for the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Alicia Munnell; and the Director of Research for Pinnacle Advisory Group, Michael Kitces, CFP.

MarketWatch - Stock Market Quotes, Business News, Financial News
Bulletin
Investor Alert
How did Kissinger get into Clinton-Sanders debate?
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger listens to a question at China Development Forum, in Beijing March 21, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Lee  Reuters
Clinton, Sanders clash over costs at debate

Challenging job: President Trump’s top diplomat
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally aboard the USS Iowa on September 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. Donald Trump is campaigning in Los Angeles a day ahead of the CNN GOP debate that will be broadcast from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)  Getty Images
Voters don’t care about promises — just vision

Looks like time for bottom fishing in U.S. stocks

Stocks will likely be higher in six months
The Dow’s downtrend is now official
5 signs we’re in a bear market

What ‘affordable’ Tesla Model 3 means for buyers
What the ‘affordable’ Tesla Model 3 rollout means for car buyers Getty Images
Tesla predicts rosy 2016 —can Musk deliver?
Tesla’s Model 3: The 5 things we now know

Why you probably won’t see 99-cents-a-gallon gas
 Getty Images

The top 10 tax havens for individuals in the world
 Shutterstock.com
Watch out for these tricky tax issues this year

A rare bit of good news about dementia
LLANDUDNO, WALES - SEPTEMBER 08:  Senior citizens walk along Llandudno Pier on September 8, 2014 in Llandudno, Wales. Britain is facing multiple problems stemming from an increase in the elderly proportion of its population, including increasing health care costs, strains on its social security system, a shortage of senior care workers and challenges to the employment market.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)  Getty Images

Don’t get smoked by your marijuana investment
Don't get smoked by your marijuana investment Getty Images

Burger King’s hot dog plan is so crazy it could work
Burger King to make its biggest menu change yet  Getty Images

Actually, the most popular new emoji isn’t the taco
Rolling eyes are the most popular of the new iOs emojis for iPhone users.

need to know
Pope Francis in Cuba for historic meeting
Shake Shack plans to open in St. Louis
Zika vaccine is at least a year and a half away
U.S., Russia agree to terms of Syrian cease-fire
10 big stories you’ve missed this week
Biggest rise in Treasury yields in 2½ months
Import prices drop 1.1% on cheaper oil
Uber to pay riders millions to settle safety suits
Mattel names new boss for Barbie business

Grammys make Memphis candy shop a winner

How grocery business got ‘barbell’ shape

Penney responds to lawsuit over Burberry plaid
Kohl’s eliminates three executives
Retail sales increase 0.2% in January

This can’t be why Apple made Beats deal with Dre

Google exec squirms when questioned about pay

Economists increasingly see Fed hands as tied
What central-bank failures mean for investors
Have central banks lost market credibility?

First-quarter earnings forecast is getting worse

Big banks are fleeing the mortgage market
Big banks are fleeing the mortgage market
Boomers are loading up on debt, not millennials

CEO Jamie Dimon’s $26 million bet on J.P. Morgan
Jamie Dimon joins the ex-billionaires club

LONDON - SEPTEMBER 15:  A financial news update in Canary Wharf on September 15, 2008 in London, England. The fourth largest American investment bank has announced that it's filing for bankruptcy protection during a growing financial crisis.  (Photo by Cate Gillon/Getty Images)
Is it 2008 all over again? (And what to expect if it is)

Time for a coordinated response to China’s yuan
Japan warns investors about the surging yen
Worried about the stock market? Watch yen

Sweden’s negative  rate isn’t as scary as it appears

Think like Buffett, and buy what's ugly
Think like Buffett, and buy stocks at their worst

5 things to know about the Costco and AmEx breakup

6 perfect roles for Martin Shkreli, Hollywood’s next leading man
Martin Shkreli: Star of stage, screen and pharma
There’s a ‘Jane’ in nearly all Hollywood scripts

Taxpayers already paying for future Super Bowls

Beer’s incessant infighting clouds the big picture

How to buy a used car
The correct way to go about buying a used car

College freshmen are most liberal since Vietnam


/conga/frontpage.html 367869

Markets »

132.55MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 132.70M
Unchanged
134
Decliners
1500
Advancers
4873
Price Chg %Chg 1 Day
Range: 1 Day
  • 1 Day
  • 5 Days
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 1 Year
  • 2 Years
Dow
/quotes/zigman/627449/realtime 15,974 +314 2.00%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,338 +71 1.66%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 1,865 +36 1.95%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,070 +23 1.11%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,239 -9 0.75%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 29.02 +2.81 10.72%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 5,708 +171 3.08%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 8,968 +215 2.45%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 3,995 +98 2.52%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 16,515 +742 4.70%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 7,921 +175 2.25%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 312 +9 2.91%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 2,385 -51 2.10%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 14,953 -761 4.84%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 18,320 -226 1.22%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 2,763 -18 0.63%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 22,986 +34 0.15%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 2,540 +2 0.07%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/16008136/realtime/sampled 1.13 -0.01 0.61%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/16008150/realtime/sampled 113.25 +0.83 0.74%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/16008140/realtime/sampled 1.45 +0.00 0.18%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/16008115/realtime/sampled 0.71 0.00 0.04%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 95.97 +0.36 0.38%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/41508961/realtime 88.99 +0.23 0.26%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 1.75 0.00 0.00%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.26 +0.07 37.97%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 1.64 -0.08 4.67%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 1.74 -0.04 2.01%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 1.42 0.00 0.00%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime 0.08 0.00 0.00%
Crude Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 29 +3 10.72%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,239 -9 0.75%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/25518691/delayed 359 -1 0.35%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/48241424/delayed 15,925 +313 2.00%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/43106711/delayed 1,860 +36 1.95%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/32655632/delayed 16 0 0.03%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite 102.01 0.10 0.10%
AAPL /quotes/zigman/68270/composite 93.99 0.29 0.31%
GOOG /quotes/zigman/59527964/composite 682.40 -0.71 -0.10%
BAC /quotes/zigman/190927/composite 11.95 0.79 7.08%
C /quotes/zigman/5065548/composite 37.54 2.56 7.32%
F /quotes/zigman/264304/composite 11.55 0.38 3.40%
T /quotes/zigman/398198/composite 36.47 0.26 0.72%
BP /quotes/zigman/247026/composite 29.02 1.38 4.99%
GE /quotes/zigman/227468/composite 28.26 0.81 2.95%
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5 yr CD
1.3%
2 yr CD
0.7%
1 yr CD
0.6%
MMA $10K+
0.2%
MMA $50K+
0.4%

National averages from Bankrate.com

You Don’t Need Another Credit Card, You Need A Better One.
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 11.96% 11.96% 11.62%
Business 13.12% 13.12% 12.85%
Student 13.42% 13.42% 13.14%
Balance Transfer 14.35% 14.35% 14.12%
Airline 15.17% 15.17% 15.10%
Cash Back 15.20% 15.26% 15.27%
Reward 15.25% 15.28% 15.14%
Instant Approval 18.02% 18.21% 18.00%
Bad Credit 22.56% 22.88% 22.73%
Source:CreditCards.com

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