Medicare Now Provides Free Lung Cancer Screening

November 10th, 2014 by

The Centers for Medicare Services (CMS) has announced that preventative screening will now be offered to Medicare recipients as young as 55 and as old as 74 years. Seniors with long histories of smoking at least a pack a day would also qualify for CT scans, according to the New York Times.

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Experts believe that the new screening provisions could save as many as 20,000 lives a year, as well as save countless dollars on health care costs due to preventative measures and steps taken to improve health by patients. Currently, lung cancer claims about 160,000 lives a year – about one-fourth of all cancer deaths annually.

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Lung cancer is particularly deadly, and kills 90% of those who contract it, largely because it is not detected early enough.

Laurie Fenton Ambrose of the Lung Cancer Alliance, the organization that originally requested Medicare’s decision, said that “Tens of thousands of lives will be saved by providing America’s seniors with fair and equitable access to the same lifesaving lung cancer screening that is now being offered to those with private insurance.”

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Medicare a Big Topic in Health Reform

November 6th, 2013 by

Medicare has become a hot topic following the government shutdown – which largely hinged on the issue of Obamacare and health reform. An important aspect of the debate has been Medicare. There has been a lot of misinformation and hyperbole vis-a-vis reform. The AARP reports that there has been a 1o-fold increase in SPAM email since the beginning of Medicare’s open enrollment period (which began on October 15 and ends on December 7th).

Yet the system seems to be working for some of America’s seniors. Marilyn Tavenner, Medicare and Medicaid Chief said that “We are now able to process nearly 17,000 registrants per hour or five per second with almost no errors. We have updated the site several times since October 1, fixing bugs and improving the healthcare.gov experience. ”

Whatever the case, the officials at Medicare.gov promise that Medicare will remain, and health reform will not negatively impact Medicare benefits. In fact, heatlh reform will provide even more benefits than were previously provided, including preventative services and donut hole coverage. Of course, that’s up to you to decide.

New Medicare Attack Ad Out by Romney & Ryan

August 14th, 2012 by

The debate over Medicare is boiling in this election season. President Obama has been hit with a new attack ad from the Romney & Ryan campaign. This is a convenient time for the Republicans to go on the offensive against Obama’s Medicare policies, because Ryan has indicated in the past that he wants to all-but-gut Medicare as it is today. Democrats have said that the Republicans would “end Medicare as we know it.”

Of course the new ad out by the Romney campaign says otherwise. “You paid into Medicare for years… every paycheck,” The ad begins. “Now Obama cut 760 billion dollars from Medicare. Why? To pay for Obamacare… The money you paid for your guaranteed health care is going to a massive new government program that’s not for you.”

The ad further states that: “The Romney Ryan plan protects Medicare benefits for today’s seniors and strengthens the plan for the next generation.”

Image Source http://thinkprogress.org

The ad is slated to begin running soon in certain key battleground states, especially Florida and parts of the Midwest where the senior population is high.

Though the ad is, in part true (Obama did cut billions from Medicare), Democrats assert that it’s misleading. Democrats say that the $700 billion that Romney states Obama cut only makes cut to future retirees, not current Medicare beneficiaries.

The attack ads aren’t only comin from teh Romney side of the campaign, however. Special interest groups and PACs intend to make Medicare a key part of the political debate. A union group began buying ads in Nevada stating that Romney and Ryan plan to “double seniors’ costs” and “raise the retirement age.” The Democratic National Committee is a bit more acerbic in their characterization of the Republicans. The DNC says Romney and Ryan plan on “throwing seniors under the bus.”

via The New York Times