Medicare

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Drug prices keep rising despite efforts to address problem

Some days, the inflammation and pain from rheumatoid arthritis makes it almost impossible for Tracy Braun to even sit up. “Sometimes I can’t even get up on my own,” she said. Braun is among a growing number of Americans who are finding it difficult to afford needed medicines, and a solution to their problem in Washington D.C. may continue to be elusive.
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After abuse scandal, CT lawmakers push to reform Whiting

About a year after cruel, ongoing abuse of a Whiting Forensic patient was revealed, the legislature’s Public Health Committee has reported out three bills aimed at reforming the state’s only maximum-security psychiatric facility by increasing transparency and oversight. Continue Reading →

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Medicare Savings Program cuts delayed by two months

Updated at 3:45 p.m. Wednesday
Lowered eligibility limits for the Medicare Savings Program, which uses Medicaid money to help low-income residents pay medical costs Medicare doesn’t cover, were supposed to go into effect on Jan. 1, but the Department of Social Services said Wednesday it will slow down implementation of the changes in response to concerns raised by the enrollees, advocates and legislators. Continue Reading →

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Senate fails to repeal Obamacare

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans failed early Friday to win approval of a “skinny” bill they hoped would grow into a full-fledged repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, putting an end to efforts to eliminate Obamacare, at least for now. The dramatic vote in the middle of the night is a boost to Connecticut Democrats who fought the GOP campaign to repeal the ACA. Continue Reading →

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Covered at the job? Obamacare repeal could change your plan — or end it.

WASHINGTON — Most Connecticut residents receive health care coverage through their employers – but that doesn’t mean they won’t feel an impact if congressional attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare succeed. They could lose coverage, face higher premiums or a loss of benefits, analysts say. Continue Reading →

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DeLauro fights political winds with book making case for social safety net

WASHINGTON — Three years ago, veteran Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro felt compelled to do one of the few things she had never done before – write a book. The result is “The Least Among Us: Waging the Battle for the Vulnerable,” a smooth read about her fight to protect the social safety net and her battles with both Republicans and Democrats who disagreed with her position or her approach. We talk to her about it in this week’s Sunday conversation. Continue Reading →

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Trump budget would rip CT safety net for poor

Updated at 9:35 p.m.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s first budget, to be released in detail Tuesday, would cut Medicaid funding to Connecticut and eliminate other programs state residents rely upon to try to make ends meet, such as one that helps low-income people heat their homes. Many of the proposed cuts will meet resistance from Congress. Continue Reading →

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How health care and Medicaid fare in Malloy’s budget

About 9,500 parents would lose Medicaid, fewer seniors would receive home care, mental health and substance abuse treatment providers would receive millions of dollars less from the state, and school-based health centers would see a 10 percent funding cut under the budget plan Gov. Dannel P. Malloy proposed Wednesday. Continue Reading →

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Trump attempt to rein in drug prices may have limited success

WASHINGTON – The president’s spokesman says Trump still favors a plan to negotiate Medicare prices, but he did not mention it after a recent meeting with pharmaceutical executives, and his plans to speed FDA approval of new drugs may be hampered by his restrictions on new regulations and cuts to the federal workforce. Continue Reading →

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Trump pick to run Medicare, Medicaid has red-state policy chops

President-elect Donald Trump has tapped Seema Verma, a health care consultant, to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. That’s the part of the Department of Health and Human Services that oversees Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program and has a budget of just under a trillion dollars in 2016. Continue Reading →

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Insurers uncertain as Congress looks to repeal Affordable Care Act

WASHINGTON– Caught off guard by the political changes that make possible the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the nation’s insurers are hoping Congress will replace the health care law with something that allows them to stay in business – and even thrive. “The discussion right now about repeal and replacement is making the (insurance) market very, very nervous,” Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, a Democrat, said. Continue Reading →

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Medicare yet to save money with heralded payment model

A high-profile Medicare experiment pushing doctors and hospitals to join together to operate more efficiently has yet to save the government money, with nearly half of the groups costing more than the government estimated their patients would normally cost, federal records show. Continue Reading →

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Medicare fees to drop sharply as Senate falters on ‘doc fix’ bill opposed by CT senators

Updated at 10:43 a.m. Friday
WASHINGTON – The Senate’s failure to act on a bill, opposed by Connecticut’s senators, means fees paid to doctors who treat Medicare patients will drop sharply at the end of the month. If Congress, which left on a two-week Easter recess, acts as soon as it returns, the government says it may be able to avoid the fee cuts. Continue Reading →

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