Halfway to the BIG 5-0: #MedicareTurns50

July 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”

-The United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Reagan won his second term in the 1984 election and updated Medicare practices three years later. Standards for nursing homes to be approved by Medicare were raised after documented abuse and malpractice. Then, in 1988, during the last year of Reagan’s presidency, the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act was passed. This act expanded benefits, reduced costs to patients, increased incentives for providers, and provided more services for citizens living below 100% of the federal poverty level.
Unfortunately, dmapuring Reagan’s last month in office, the bill was repealed. All benefits, except those for the extremely poor, were removed.

George H. W. Bush was elected in the 1989 election, winning only 53.4% of the popular vote, but nearly 80% of electoral votes. That same year, Bush Sr. made his first changes to Medicare under the The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989 (OBRA) that prevented doctors from referring patients to organizations that they had a financial interest in.

A year later, another OBRA passes under George H. W. Bush establishing the Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary group. The bill ensured that the state would pay all Medicare premiums for citizens living 100-120% below the federal poverty line. In addition, finally federal standards were created for the “Medigap” programs first established under President Carter.

The second OBRA iclintons the last Medicare legislation passed by President Bush, who lost the 1992 election to Bill Clinton.

During his time in office, President Clinton would create major change in Medicare programs and healthcare more generally –  including a law to protect the privacy and security of patient data – any guesses on what that law is?

But this chapter is now up – so you’ll have to wait for Part IV of the series to find out just what these changes were! We have two more posts in this series to go – so don’t miss a beat!


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