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Report Describes Policy Challenges of Using Medicare as a Platform for Expanding Health Care Coverage

  • 1Consulting Editor, JAMA Health Forum and JAMA

Although extending Medicare eligibility to a broader slice of the US population might seem to be a relatively uncomplicated way to expand health care coverage, make coverage and care more affordable, and contain costs, achieving these 3 key policy goals presents policy makers with “a significant set of technical and program design considerations,” according to a report released last week.

“Delivering on these policy goals simultaneously is not necessarily possible and may entail tradeoffs,” the report says.

The report, Examining Approaches to Expand Medicare Eligibility: Key Design Options and Implications, was released by the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of experts on US social insurance programs, namely, Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation.

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