Fiscal Cliff: What’s At Stake For Medicare And Medicaid?

From Kaiser Health News Jackie Judd talks to KHN’s Mary Agnes Carey about the budget negotiation scenarios for Medicare, where the “doc fix” fits into the budget picture, and whether Medicaid cuts are possible. >>Listen to the audio or read a transcript below: Jackie Judd: Good day, this is Health on the Hill. I’m Jackie Judd. A year ago this month, negotiations on Capitol Hill to reduce the federal deficit collapsed. A year later, have the political dynamics shifted enough …

With Votes Counted, ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Looms Large

From Kaiser Health News News outlets report that with the election in the rear-view mirror, President Barack Obama and congressional lawmakers must pivot to high-stakes negotiations over expiring income tax rates, massive scheduled cuts to Pentagon spending and entitlement reform. Also on the to-do list: the Medicare doc fix. The Washington Post: Fresh From Reelection, President Finds Himself On Edge Of ‘Fiscal Cliff’ The president, who won reelection late Tuesday, must now confront the “fiscal cliff,” nearly $500 billion in automatic …

A Look Back – and Thank You

As the year winds down, we find ourselves pondering what really mattered in the last 365 days.  For us, the answer is easy – you.  Your petitions, phone calls, and emails to legislators made it possible for us to accomplish so much to improve the lives of older Americans in this country – and for that we are most grateful.

The Takeaway: U.S. Retirement Assets Declining Again; Payroll Tax Deadlock Ends; World’s Oldest Yoga Teacher

Americans' retirement assets lost a total value of $1.4 trillion last quarter, the first decline since the depths of the recession three years ago, according to a new report … After initially rejecting the measure, House Republican leaders yesterday agreed to a two-month payroll tax cut extension"”and, with it, an extension of federal unemployment benefits and a temporary 'doc fix' … And Bernice Bates, 91, has been named the world's oldest yoga teacher by Guinness World Records.

The Takeaway: With Congress Home For The Holidays, Docs Face Steep Medicare Pay Cut

If Congress doesn't pass an extension bill by Jan. 1, payroll taxes will go up for 160 million workers, almost 2 million people could lose unemployment benefits and doctors could see a 27.4 percent pay cut from Medicare. But with the end of 2011 fast approaching"”and lawmakers already having left Washington for the holidays"”that's looking like less and less of a possibility.

The Takeaway: Docs Face Steep Medicare Pay Cut (Again); New Book Explores ‘Ageless Homes’

If Congress doesn't act before January 1, doctors will see a 27.4 percent cut in their reimbursement pay from Medicare. And a new book from architect Wid Chapman and gerontologist Jeffrey P. Rosenfeld explores (in full-pictured glory) 33 examples of homes that have been designed with an eye toward aging in place.