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2017: When Medicare Runs Out of Money

2017: When Medicare Runs Out of Money

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

Ouch. Medicare is expected to run out of money in a mere eight years, according to a new report from the trustees who oversee the federal health insurance program primarily for the elderly.

Here are some resources if you're covering this story or looking for a local angle. Check out this recent ReportingonHealth blog post on localizing the issue of doctors declining to accept Medicare patients because reimbursements are so low.

Here is Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' statement responding to the Medicare Trustees' report.

Don't forget the backstory: Medicare's woes are another political boost for the Obama administration's health reform efforts, which are really on a roll this week (although some doubt how much will get done.) A ReportingonHealth essay on covering health reform by noted investigative journalists Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele lays out some important background.

More resources: The Center for Medicare Advocacy, which advocates for patients, the Kaiser Family Foundation's Medicare Policy Project, whose webpage has lots of data and analysis, and ReportingonHealth's sources directory, which offers experts well-versed in Medicare issues (just enter Medicare in the search field.)

I'll write more about localizing the national debate over Medicare's finances in a future post.

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