Medicare: Looking Back, Looking Forward

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As Medicare enters its 50th anniversary year, now would seem a good time to reflect on a program that has transformed the lives of millions of elderly and disabled Americans while helping to shape the direction of U.S. health care overall.<br /><br />
In “Medicare at 50—Origins and Evolution,” the first of a two-part series in the <em>New England Journal of Medicine, </em>The Commonwealth Fund’s David Blumenthal, M.D., and Stuart Guterman, and Karen Davis of the Johns Hopkins University Lipitz Center for Integrated Healthcare tell the story of Medicare’s beginnings, review its impact on coverage and care, and discuss the key changes the program has undergone over the decades.<br />
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In part 2, the authors will describe some of the options for reforming Medicare so it can better meet its challenges, including the daunting task of controlling costs as millions more baby boomers enter the program. Read the study