Medicare at Forty

Davis, Karen; Collins, Sara R.
December 2005
Health Care Financing Review;Winter2005, Vol. 27 Issue 2, p53
Academic Journal
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Medicare Program. Medicare has achieved its two basic goals of ensuring access to care for elderly and disabled beneficiaries and protecting them from severe financial hardship. The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 represents an important improvement by adding prescription drug coverage. Medicare's major future challenge is responding to the retirement of the baby boom generation and rising health care costs. Promising policy options should aim to ensure health and financial security for beneficiaries and proactively use Medicare's purchasing power to achieve greater efficiency and quality in health care for Medicare beneficiaries and all Americans. More policy attention needs to be focused on debating Medicare's future, a more complex issue than even Social Security.


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