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Medicare: Time for a Reality Check?

Posted By Tamara Lytle On September 19, 2013 @ 4:41 pm In Bulletin Today,Politics | Comments Disabled

The public’s view of Medicare doesn’t match reality, according to an analysis [1] of six polls by the New England Journal of Medicine, which says that the “wide gap in beliefs between experts on the financial state of Medicare and the public at large” could end up affecting the ongoing battle over the federal budget.

medicare pill [2]Here are some of the chief disconnects:

  • Although Medicare spending has been rising at slower rates during the past five years, 62 percent of Americans think just the opposite.
  • Although most people believe they put more into Medicare through payroll taxes than they get back in benefits, beneficiaries actually pay only about $1 for every $3 in benefits they receive.
  • Although Medicare spending is the third-largest item in the federal budget, 36 percent of all Americans believe it’s not one of the largest items in the budget, and another 11 percent say they’re not sure or decline to answer.
  • Only 31 percent of Americans identify Medicare as a “major cause” of the federal budget deficit.

 

How to close the perception gap? The authors of the NEJM article call for “a nonpartisan, broad-based public education campaign launched focusing on how Medicare works financially” and suggest that “discussions of the financial sustainability of Medicare … be separated from public debates over reducing budget deficits or enacting tax cuts.”

 

Also of Interest

 

See the AARP home page [7] for deals, savings tips, trivia and more

 

 


Article printed from AARP: http://blog.aarp.org

URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/09/19/medicare-time-for-a-reality-check/

URLs in this post:

[1] analysis: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsr1307622

[2] Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/medicare-pill.jpg

[3] For Many, New Health Law Will Offer a Bridge to Medicare: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/09/12/for-many-new-health-law-will-offer-a-bridge-to-medicare/?intcmp=AE-ENDART1-BL-REL

[4] More Doctors Accepting New Medicare Patients: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/08/27/more-doctors-accepting-new-medicare-patients/?intcmp=AE-ENDART2-BL-BOS

[5] Questions about the Affordable Care Act? Get your answers here.: http://healthlawanswers.aarp.org/?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-ADV

[6] Join AARP: https://appsec.aarp.org/MSS/join/application?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-MEM

[7] AARP home page: http://www.aarp.org/?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-HP

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