How the Affordable Care Act Is Changing Medicare

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In addition to expanding health insurance coverage, one of the Affordable Care Act’s goals is to improve Medicare’s benefits, care, and financial outlook. The second report in our <em>Medicare at 50 Years </em>series describes how the law is strengthening the program for current and future beneficiaries and outlines the major challenges that policymakers have yet to confront. <br /><br />
Authors Karen Davis, Stuart Guterman, and Farhan Bandeali explain that by moving Medicare away from fee-for-service payment and holding health care providers more accountable for both the quality and total cost of care, certain Affordable Care Act reforms—most notably the new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation—have the potential to reshape not just the Medicare program but the entire U.S. health system. <br />
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Still, more changes will be required, the authors say, to meet the challenge of caring for the rapidly growing number of Americans over 65 and to address Medicare’s complex and fragmented benefit package. Future papers in this series will focus on these issues. Read the report