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NEWS
December 9, 2003 | By Ron Hutcheson INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
President Bush yesterday signed into law the most sweeping changes to Medicare since its creation nearly four decades ago, including a new prescription-drug benefit for older Americans. The landmark law also will inject competition into the government health-care program for the first time, by letting private companies compete with traditional Medicare. Bush said the changes would bring Medicare into the 21st century. Critics predicted they would destroy the health-care safety net that serves 40 million older Americans.
NEWS
August 8, 1996 | BY JOHN SWEENEY
Rich Welsh (Guest Opinion, July 30) appears to have been taken in by the Republican congressional leadership's disinformation to distract citizens from Rep. John Fox's votes for the Newt Gingrich budget that made deep cuts in Medicare. In reality, it is the Republican leaders and their right-wing allies who are "playing dirty on Medicare" in an attempt to undermine the AFL-CIO's efforts to educate the American public. They have even stooped to threatening libel suits against TV and radio stations that run AFL-CIO ads documenting votes for drastic cuts in Medicare by members of Congress, including Jon Fox. Welsh parrots the GOP's line that House Speaker Newt Gingrich wasn't referring to Medicare when he said, "We think it's going to wither on the vine.
NEWS
April 14, 2013 | By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - President Obama's plan to raise Medicare premiums for upper-income seniors would create five new income brackets to squeeze more revenue for the government from the top tiers of retirees, the administration revealed Friday. First details of the plan emerged after Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified to Congress on the president's budget. As released two days earlier, the budget included only a vague description of a controversial proposal that has grown more ambitious since Obama last floated it. "Means testing" has been part of Medicare since the George W. Bush administration, but ramping it up is bound to stir controversy.
NEWS
August 4, 2002 | By Robert F. O'Neill INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
More and more seniors are opting to remain in the workforce nowadays, even after their Social Security kicks in, leaving questions about Medicare benefits for another day. When another day arrives, chances are a retiree needs help in deciding where to go for supplemental health coverage, whether to sign up with an HMO or any one of the more than 40 insurance providers registered in Pennsylvania. Where does one find this kind of free help? In Delaware County it's an agency called Horizons Unlimited, which administers a state-funded Medicare health insurance counseling program known as APPRISE.
NEWS
April 5, 1987 | By Gilbert M. Gaul, Inquirer Staff Writer
Edward Howard thought he was prepared for old age. The former government worker had managed to save $130,000 for retirement. He owned his ranch house in a suburb of Washington. And he had monthly income of nearly $2,300 from a pension and Social Security. Because he was 65, Howard automatically qualified for Medicare, the federal health-insurance program for the elderly. But just to be on the safe side, he bought four health-insurance policies. "I thought I had all the bases covered," Howard, a 72-year-old amputee, said in a recent interview.
NEWS
January 8, 1998
Republicans greeted President Clinton's proposal to expand Medicare to include the "near elderly" with all the grace Socks showed Buddy. Fangs bared and back arched. California Republican Bill Thomas, chairman of the House Ways and Means subcommittee on health, said, "If the era of big government is over, why is the president proposing all these government expansions?" Texas Republican Sen. Phil Gramm called the plan "99 percent politics and 1 percent public policy. " And Ohio Republican John R. Kasich, head of the House Budget Committee, said there was no way Congress would approve.
NEWS
January 13, 2006
LAST WEEK, I had to pay cash for my prescription because either Blue Cross' or our government's computers weren't updated to the changes in Medicare. Added to that aggravation is the unabashed greed the pharmaceutical industry expects us to support. My prescription plan has an annual cap. Because of that, I know the retail cost was $173 last year. This time, I had to pay $200. That increase, I suspect, is due solely to the federal government's paying either the whole freight or the difference in private coverage.
NEWS
August 14, 2009
MEDICARE is not the panacea many make it out to be. Its costs are exploding and fraud is rampant - just another poorly administered federal program. Moreover, the projections in 1961 were completely wrong such that its present-day cost is hundreds of billions in excess of the estimates. Ronald Reagan was right in 1961 to object to government involvement - and if he were alive today, it's clear that he would be against Obamacare. John Belli, Philadelphia
NEWS
August 17, 2012 | By Steve Peoples, Associated Press
WARREN, Ohio - Republican vice presidential contender Paul Ryan says he never would have included a $700 billion Medicare cut in his budget if President Obama hadn't done it first. "He put those cuts there," Ryan said Thursday, responding to a reporter's question. "We would never have done it in the first place. " Medicare, the health-care program for tens of millions of seniors, has become a key issue in the race for the White House. The Wisconsin congressman is perhaps best known for authoring a controversial budget plan that would transform Medicare into a voucher-like system.
NEWS
July 30, 1996 | BY RICH WELSH
The AFL-CIO is saturating radio with a commercial about Medicare. It starts out with a woman explaining how Medicare is peace of mind for senior citizens. The announcer then breaks in, saying that Newt Gingrich has his own ideas about Medicare. A clip is then played with Speaker Gingrich saying, "We don't get rid of it through a transition. But we believe it's going to wither on the vine. " The Democrats during the Medicare debates several months ago tried to use this statement on the floor of the House of Representatives.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
June 7, 2015 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
Today and just about every day for the next 19 years, 10,000 Americans will turn 65 years old and become eligible for Medicare, the federal health insurance program. But let's say you're nearing 65 and have an Affordable Care Act marketplace plan you like. Do you have to enroll in Medicare when your odometer flips? Well, if you don't enroll, be careful cutting the cake, because your marketplace plan may no longer cover stitches. That's because your marketplace policy "will be a secondary plan to Medicare" after you turn 65, said Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center, a national, nonprofit advocacy organization.
NEWS
April 18, 2015 | By Don Sapatkin, Inquirer Staff Writer
The mind-bogglingly complex American health-care system took a step toward user-friendliness Thursday when the federal government assigned star ratings - 1 to 5, like restaurant and movie reviews - for patient satisfaction at thousands of U.S. hospitals. Many leading hospitals received middling ratings, while comparatively obscure community hospitals and others that specialize in lucrative surgeries frequently received the most stars. In the Philadelphia region, for example, just two hospitals - Physicians Care Surgical Hospital in Montgomery County and Cancer Treatment Centers of America's Eastern Regional Medical Center in Crescentville - scored five stars.
NEWS
April 16, 2015 | By Maddie Hanna and Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Staff Writers
MANCHESTER, N.H. - Gov. Christie proposed an overhaul of federal entitlements Tuesday that would cut $1 trillion in spending on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid over a decade, a bold stroke aimed at reviving his presidential aspirations. Christie, trailing potential rivals for the 2016 Republican nomination in polls, said the changes were needed both to preserve the safety-net programs and to stabilize federal finances. "Every other national priority will be sacrificed, our economic growth will grind to a halt, and our national security will be put at even graver risk" without cost cutting, Christie said during a speech at St. Anselm College.
NEWS
March 11, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez noted last week that he and Dr. Salomon Melgen "celebrate holidays together, have been there for family weddings and funerals, and have given each other birthday, holiday, and wedding presents - just as friends do. " The Florida eye doctor has also spent about a million dollars on campaign donations and vacations for the New Jersey Democrat, who brought Melgen's multimillion-dollar Medicare billing dispute to the attention of...
NEWS
February 16, 2015 | By Tom Avril, Inquirer Staff Writer
The patient with the bad heart valve will be in his 60s, say, someone who tires easily because of impaired blood flow but is otherwise in pretty good health. An informed consumer, he has seen the ads about the new way to fix the problem without having a surgeon crack open his chest. A slender catheter is threaded through the groin, a new aortic valve implanted, and the patient is home in a few days. Can he sign up? For now, Mark B. Anderson has to tell him no. "Surgery is still the gold standard," said Anderson, chair of cardiothoracic surgery at Einstein Healthcare Network.
NEWS
October 12, 2014 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
  In June, Anthony Capone said he liked his AmeriHealth Medicare Advantage plan so much he persuaded his 89-year-old mother and aunt to make the switch. Things were going along fine until recently, when the Mount Laurel businessman's renewal notice arrived in the mail. He opened the package and was taken aback. His monthly premium had spiked to $62 a month, a $23 rise. Other fees - in-hospital co-pay (up to $175), Part D deductible ($25), and ambulance ($100) - have also risen.
BUSINESS
July 28, 2014 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a bid to cut Medicare spending and help pay for health-care changes, the Obama administration has significantly expanded audits designed to recover improper payments from health-care providers. "We are taking, I would say, a brutal spanking, those that are fully compliant and within regulation," said Tim Fox, founder and chief executive of Fox Rehabilitation, a Cherry Hill company that provides physical therapy and other services to the elderly. "It's dead easy to commit fraud under Medicare, and that's why there's so much fraud and abuse out there," Fox said.
BUSINESS
June 28, 2014 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
The U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia charged the owners and manager of Life Support Corp., a Bucks County ambulance company, in a $1.9 million Medicare fraud. Those charged Thursday in the 12-count indictment were brothers Nazariy Kmet, 35, of Jamison, and Bogdan Kmet, 30, of Warminster, who owned Life Support. Their cousin, a company manager, Rostislav Kmet, 26, of Philadelphia, was also charged. The defendants were arrested Thursday morning and made initial court appearances in the afternoon.
NEWS
June 26, 2014
SUMMER has arrived, but hunger doesn't take a vacation. For too many students, the lunch they receive at school is their only meal. And during the summer, many of these young people lose access to regular meals. To address summer food insecurity, the city of Philadelphia provides free, healthy meals to eligible Philadelphians through the summer meals program, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and local partners. Beginning this week, more than 700 summer-meal locations will open citywide, serving delicious and healthy breakfast, lunch and snacks to young Philadelphians.
NEWS
June 23, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
A VETERAN federal prosecutor passionately told a judge yesterday that Alex Pugman, a leading defendant in a Medicare fraud case, "was without a doubt the most exceptional cooperator I have worked with. " Pugman, who was the director and co-owner of the now-defunct Home Care Hospice in Northeast Philly, helped explain the roles of other participants in the scheme, pointed out the fraud in the agency's records, and testified at two grand juries and at three trials, Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Ercole said.
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