Washington Watch

Tammy Lytle has covered the White House, Congress, politics and breaking news in the nation’s capital for 23 years. She is the former Washington bureau chief of the Orlando Sentinel and her work has appeared in newspapers magazines and websites.

Medicare Could Save Big by Steering Ambulances Away From Hospitals

Medicare could save $560 million or more a year simply by allowing some patients who call 911 for an ambulance to be taken somewhere other than a hospital emergency room. What’s more, the study found, private insurers could save twice that amount by following suit. That’s the conclusion of a new study in Health Affairs, which found that more than a third of Medicare patients who called 911 had a “low-acuity diagnosis” that could have been managed outside the hospital emergency …

Which Americans Might Benefit the Most From Obamacare?

African Americans, who as a group are among the least likely Americans to have health insurance, may stand to benefit the most from Obamacare, a new study by the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Department finds. According to the study, about 4.2 million of the nation’s 6.8 million eligible uninsured African Americans – roughly 60 percent – will have new options for coverage under the health care law beginning Jan. 1. Some 2.2 million could qualify for tax credits …

House, Senate Negotiators Reach Budget Deal

The two-year budget deal approved by House and Senate negotiators may be most notable for what it doesn’t do. The agreement, unveiled on Dec. 10, aims to keep the government from running out of money in January, avert another government shutdown, cut $23 billion from the federal deficit over two years and ease automatic spending cuts in military and many domestic programs. But the deal doesn’t make major changes in Medicare and Social Security, which many Republicans favored, and it …

You May Know More About Obamacare Than You Think

Who’s best informed about Obamacare? Older Americans, a new Gallup poll shows, at least according to them. Some three of every four Americans 50 or older say they are familiar with the Affordable Care Act. That may not be too surprising, because the new health care law offers older adults who are not yet eligible for Medicare some important new benefits and protections. Before the ACA, for example, insurance companies could deny coverage or charge sky-high rates to older applicants, …

A Plan to End Hunger in America

As Americans sit down together for the Thanksgiving holiday, millions of older Americans and others worry about where their next meal will come from. A new report from the Bread for the World Institute challenges the nation to reduce hunger by 25 percent by 2017 and to eradicate it by 2030. >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter Since the economy has hit rougher times, more American households have become “food insecure” – meaning they are either hungry or …

Learn More + Earn More = Live Longer?

How long you live has a lot to do with income and education. That’s the message from experts who testified on Nov. 20 at a U.S. Senate hearing on “Dying Young: Why Your Social and Economic Status May Be a Death Sentence in America.” >> Sign up for the AARP Money newsletter. As Steven Woolf, M.D., the director of the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University, put it, “the lower people’s income, the earlier they die and …