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Encore
A blog about living in and planning for retirement

Medicare - All posts tagged Medicare

  • Oct 16, 2012
    3:16 PM ET

    Obama vs. Romney on Retirement: Round Two

    Much to the chagrin of network TV programmers, tonight’s prime-time debate between President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won’t be the last. But since next Monday’s debate in Boca Raton will focus on foreign policy, tonight’s affair might offer voters their final opportunity to watch the two rivals go head-to-head on issues related to retirement — especially their conflicting views on Medicare.

    Since the first debate, in which Romney looked sharp and detail-oriented and the president often looked like a refugee from Madame Tussauds, most national polls have shown Romney erasing some or all of the early-fall lead Obama had with voters. Medicare is one of the few topics on which the president still holds a lead…

  • Oct 12, 2012
    5:53 PM ET

    Medicare open-enrollment: Finding the right drug plan

    President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney are slugging it out over Medicare’s long-term future. But for the short term at least, health experts say enrollees mostly need to think about one area of the program: drug plans.

    Medicare’s open-enrollment period, when the 49 million Americans who use the program can make changes to their 2013 coverage, starts on Monday and runs through Dec. 7. And this time around, experts say the stakes are greater than in previous years…

  • Oct 8, 2012
    5:00 PM ET

    Poll: Where Medicare Ranks With Voters

    With the presidential election now just four weeks away, the health of Medicare and the program’s prospects will likely play a crucial role in voters’ decisions — and President Obama could be the primary beneficiary.

    The latest Health Tracking survey from the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation finds that 36% of Americans say Medicare is “extremely important” to their vote in the election, trailing only the economy (49%) and the federal budget deficit (41%)  among the public’s top priorities.

  • Oct 4, 2012
    6:18 PM ET

    Is Retirement Making You Fat?

    If your jeans don’t button quite as easily as they used to and your shirts feel extra snug these days, you’re not alone: Thousands of older folks struggle with weight gain when they retire.  So, is retirement making you fat?

    At a time when out-of-pocket medical costs have been steadily rising for seniors, it’s a question that’s just as important to financial well-being as to physical health. And it’s possible that retirement is connected to adding extra pounds, according to several [...].

  • Oct 4, 2012
    5:07 PM ET

    Does Obamacare ‘Cut’ $716 Billion From Medicare?

    I mentioned before last night’s debate that Mitt Romney’s critique of President Obama’s health-care reforms might focus on the number $716 billion. I was unexpectedly prescient: By my count, based on a transcript, Romney cited the number 10 times, including twice in his closing statement. (“If the president were to be re-elected, you’re going to see a $716 billion cut to Medicare.”) The president never specifically rebutted this claim (then again, he didn’t rebut much of anything in what seemed like a fairly flat performance.) But is the Republican candidate using the statistic accurately?

  • Oct 4, 2012
    2:39 PM ET

    Should ‘the 47%’ Pay Income Taxes?

    As many commentators have pointed out in the wake of recently publicized comments by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the main reasons that 47 percent of households do not pay federal income taxes are provisions in the tax code that 1) provide basic exemptions for subsistence level income; and 2) offer tax expenditures that wipe out a household’s tax liabilities or provide refundable credits.  These provisions mainly benefit senior citizens and low-income families with children.  These two groups account for the bulk of the non-tax paying units.

    The implication of some of the discussion is that the country would be better off, and programs like Social Security and Medicare more likely to stay solvent, if these provisions were changed and more units paid taxes.  Is that true?  This piece takes a brief look at the tax treatment of low-income families with children. My next blog post will look at the provisions for retirees.

  • Oct 3, 2012
    8:15 AM ET

    Want to Win a Genius Grant? Try Caring for the Elderly

    Like many other cosseted Gen X-ers, I sometimes fantasize about winning a MacArthur Fellowship, one of those renowned “genius grants” that comes with a prize of $500,000, along with the right to require your friends to refer to you as “Mr. Genius” in all conversations and emails. My fantasy usually involves being recognized for something glamorous and artsy  – playing incendiary bluegrass mandolin, for example. But based on recent history, my odds would probably be better if I concentrated on caring for the elderly...

  • Sep 18, 2012
    12:42 PM ET

    Who’s Really in Romney’s “47%”?

    I don’t want to spend too much time on Mitt Romney’s “47% of the people” video, because I hate to kick a guy when he’s got his foot in his mouth. But I do want to point out that in his remarks, Romney was doing more than speaking inelegantly — he was, perhaps unwittingly, taking potshots at some of his most loyal supporters.

    For those who missed it: Mother Jones released a video yesterday that was shot at a private fund-raiser. In it, Romney says that “there are 47% of the people who will vote for the president, no matter what,” in part because they are “dependent upon government.”

  • Dec 5, 2011
    9:29 AM ET

    Medicare Drafts Volunteers to Curb Fraud

    iStockphoto

    A nationwide program to fight Medicare fraud is expanding, and organizers could use your help.

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is awarding $9 million to Senior Medicare Patrol programs across the country. Started in 1997 and operated by the Administration on Aging, Senior Medicare Patrol recruits and trains older Americans to “recognize and report instances or patterns of health-care fraud,” according to the AOA.

  • Nov 10, 2011
    3:55 PM ET

    If ‘Super Committee’ Fails, Seniors May Pay

    This week, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) predicted that the so-called “super committee” — a group of twelve Congressional leaders tasked with reducing our deficit — will fail by not being able to find the $1.2 trillion in savings they’re supposed to. “I don’t think the Super Committee is going to succeed because our Republican colleagues have said ‘no net revenues,’” he told MSNBC.  If he’s right, it may have a significant impact on Medicare and shake-up markets.

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.

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