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Articles written by alan m. schlein

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Repeal of the Affordable Care Act will have a profound effect on seniors

Editor’s note: This analysis piece was submitted while Tom Price was in Congressional hearings for HHS Secretary confirmation. All eyes on Capitol Hill are focused on the fight over the “repeal and replacement” of the Affordable Care Act (ACA),...

 

Washington Watch: Senior health care issues loom large

Health care issues are certain to be at the top of president-elect Donald Trump’s agenda when he takes office January 20. But how he handles the controversies sure to erupt around repealing and replacing Obamacare, efforts to turn Medicare into a...

 

Presidential candidate positions on senior issues

With the nation sharply focusing on the Nov. 8 presidential election, the choice between Republican candidate Donald J. Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has been all about personalities, not about policy differences. Facts have taken a...

 

Congress changes billing rules for hospital 'observation care'

Here is some Medicare bad news, disguised as good news. Congress has finally moved to change the laws about observation care, a problem that’s been vexing seniors for years because the laws are unclear. This has forced millions of seniors to face...

 

Medicare to provide coverage for end-of-life counseling

Doctors are different than you and I. They know how to die. They do not tell family and colleagues to do “everything you can” to save them. This may surprise you, but doctors often choose less end-of-life care for themselves than the average pati...

 
 By Alan M. Schlein    News    August 1, 2015

One in six seniors have inadequate access to food

Millions of seniors are struggling to put food on the table, a dramatic spike in the problem, according to two new reports. Despite the recent uptick in the U.S. economy, an astonishingly large number of Americans – 9.6 million over the age of 60...

 
 By Alan M. Schlein    News    July 1, 2015

Data sheds light on escalating medical costs

The prices that hospitals ask customers to pay for a series of common procedures have increased by more than 10 percent between 2011 and 2013 – more than double the rate of inflation, according to new data released recently by Medicare. But the...

 

Republican budget bill proposes marked changes in Medicare coverage

Check off “budget” on the Republicans “can govern” checklist. Congressional Republicans recently approved a budget bill, the first passed by Congress in six years, and the first since the party took control of both chambers earlier this...

 
 By Alan M. Schlein    News    March 1, 2015

Supreme Court poised to rule on Obamacare: What it could mean for coverage and costs

For the second time in three years, the U.S. Supreme Court could determine the fate of the president’s health care law with a case coming up for oral arguments in March. While a limited number of seniors are covered under the health care law, a Cou...

 

Medicare rules, boondoggles and fraud fights

Medicare is like a government octopus, with its tentacles stretching into almost every aspect of senior life. With its policies affecting 50 million beneficiaries, this agency has a lot going on simultaneously. Sometimes, policies it puts in place...

 

Huge backlog result of broken Social Security bureaucracy

Last spring the nation was outraged when the enormous backlog of claims at the Veterans Administration was revealed. The number of claims stuck in processing for more than 125 days at that time was...

 

Medicare changes could limit ALS patients' coverage

Last summer’s viral “ice bucket challenge” focused attention and helped raise money for ALS – amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – a disease that impairs motor function so people often can’t talk or even move. But while public attention...

 

High drug costs prompt calls for government price controls

Sovaldi, a new drug, which has been hailed as a breakthrough treatment for the 3.2 million Americans infected with hepatitis C, costs $1,000 a pill. While it is highly effective and has fewer side effects and takes less time than older therapies, it...

 

Debating Medicare coverage for smokers

Bipartisanship has surfaced, at least briefly, on Capitol Hill. More than 130 lawmakers, from both parties, are urging the Obama Administration to expand coverage for a lung-cancer test under...

 

New Medicare benefits you should know about - but probably don't

Dying patients may find it more difficult to get certain medications under new rules Medicare has recently put in place. Meanwhile, another set of rules could make it easier for seniors to get Medicare to pay for home health care services. Medicare h...

 
 By Alan M. Schlein    News    May 1, 2014

Administration retreats on Part D changes

The White House, after an aggressive pushback from seniors, patients, pharmaceutical companies and lawmakers from both parties, recently scrapped most of a proposed plan to limit Medicare coverage for certain classes of drugs including those used to...

 

Proposed Medicare Part D changes incite cheers, jeers

When do you fix a government program that’s not broken? That’s the question many in Washington are asking, after Medicare recently proposed a series of changes to its Part D prescription drug program – a program that, by most everyone’s...

 

Budget ax hovers over Washington

Put the president’s health care law aside, at least for now. Temporarily forget that the nation just went through the government shutdown ordeal. Get ready for the next crisis. It’s already on its way. Democratic and Republican lawmakers on...

 

Seniors and Obamacare

Sign-up for the Affordable Care Act starts in October with the bulk of the law, known as Obamacare, taking effect starting in January 2014. For most seniors, no action is necessary as Medicare will cover most of their needs. But for those between 50...

 
 By Alan M. Schlein    News    August 1, 2013

New health care model adapts to changing realities

Ever forget to take your pills or simply fail to measure your blood sugar or some other routine health care daily chores? Would it help you remember if you knew that a nurse was coming by regularly to check in and make sure you were doing what you...

 

Love it or leave it health care

While the Obama administration battles with the Republican House of Representatives this summer in the public relations fight over getting people to sign up for the new health care insurance coverage, key decisions affecting millions of poor folks ar...

 
 By Alan M. Schlein    News    June 1, 2013

The Medicare 'observation' muddle

After five days in the hospital with a fractured spine, Jean Arnau was discharged and needed to transfer to a skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation. Only then did her family find out that she had never been formally admitted as an inpatient to...

 

Budget battles' increasing impact on seniors

President Barack Obama took a political gamble at the beginning of April by proposing to curb the growth of Medicare and Social Security. In upsetting his liberal political base, Obama hopes his concessions will draw rank and file Senate Republicans...

 

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