Medicare covers nearly 45 million beneficiaries, including 38 million seniors and 7 million younger adults with permanent disabilities. The program is expected to cost the federal government approximately $477 billion in 2009, accounting for 13 percent of federal spending and 19 percent of total national health expenditures.
Whom does Medicare serve and what services does it cover? What are Medicare Parts A, B, C and D? How is it structured and financed? What drives Medicare’s costs? How does Medicare reimburse providers and hospitals? What future challenges face the program?
To address these and related questions, the Alliance for Health Reform and the Kaiser Family Foundation sponsored a March 16 briefing. Panelists were: Juliette Cubanski, principal policy analyst with the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation; Marilyn Moon, vice president and director of the health program at American Institutes for Research; and Tom Gustafson, senior policy advisor at Arnold & Porter LLC. Diane Rowland of the Foundation and Ed Howard of the Alliance moderated.
Full Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)