Docs, drug companies, insurers drive up Medicare costs

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: reform drove down hospital costs, creating Medicare savings, but insurers, doctors and drug companies escaped cuts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… until 2030 — 13 years later than projected in 2009, the year before Congress passed the Affordable Care Act. While it’s uncertain how much of that g …"

"… hts Center and Social Security Works — released a report suggesting that Congress could save taxpayers $141 billion over 10 years just by reauthorizing a pr …"

"… in the first year of the Part D program. The groups also recommended that Congress allow Medicare to create its own drug insurance plan that could directly n …"

"… s also contributed to soaring health care costs, especially for Medicare. Congress has also allowed health insurers to enrich themselves, in both lawful and …"

How Medicare Advantage plans code for cash

By Fred Schulte

Federal study criticizes Medicare Advantage and calls for changes.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… Further policy changes will likely be necessary,” the study concludes. Congress created Medicare Advantage in 2003 to encourage private insurance companie …"

"… stry and the fear of angering seniors also has largely quieted concerns in Congress that Medicare Advantage plans can be a poor value for taxpayers. Congress …"

"… Congress that Medicare Advantage plans can be a poor value for taxpayers. Congress recognized problems with Medicare Advantage coding as far back as 2005, wh …"

Feds seek new authority to recoup Medicare Advantage overcharges

By Fred Schulte

Impact: Feds act to recoup overcharges following Center investigation.

Medicare Advantage plans require more scrutiny

By Fred Schulte

Government inspector says private Medicare plans difficult to investigate due to lack of access to data.

Praise for UK-style health system vindicates spurned nominee

By Wendell Potter

Former Medicare chief's support for UK's health care system may win votes in race for governor of Massachusetts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… told you so” note to a few folks in Washington. …"

Health insurance lobby keeps Medicare Advantage overpayments flowing

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: program bills are excessive, but don't expect reforms.

Home is where the money is for Medicare Advantage plans

By Fred Schulte

Medicare Advantage home visits may not improve health, but boost risk scores and cost taxpayers billions.

Medicare Advantage lobbying machine steamrolls Congress

By Fred Schulte

Under pressure, Medicare Advantage critics morph into defenders.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… milked the system for richer payments than they deserved. President-elect Barack Obama suggested big changes were on the horizon during a Dec. 11, 2008, press co …"

Health insurers have their way with regulators

By Fred Schulte

Billions in Medicare Advantage overpayments likely gone for good.

New audits may recover missing millions — or not

By Fred Schulte

Secretive audits target some Medicare Advantage plans.

Whistleblower suit says health plan cheated government out of more than $1 billion

By Fred Schulte

Lawsuit: executives worried health plan would be ‘screwed’ if feds heard of overcharges.

Explaining Medicare Advantage, and why it matters to you

By Fred Schulte and Sarah Whitmire

Explaining risk scores, Medicare Advantage and what alleged overbilling could mean for the Affordable Care Act.

Center sues in an effort to make Medicare Advantage files public

By Fred Schulte

Center sues to make records public.

A different way of thinking about health care

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Canadians take pride in their health care system.

The Canadian health care system I disparaged

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: health care system up north is more efficient.

American-style health care system pushed in Canada

By Wendell Potter

Canada's conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper wants to remake nation's health care system.

GOP opposition to Obamacare baffles Dr. Sullivan

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: former HHS Secretary Sullivan says Obamacare resembles plan crafted by Republicans.

The health care industry's campaign of fear, uncertainty and doubt

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: health insurers use a host of tactics to erode support for Obamacare.

Pay no attention to those insurance lobbyists behind the Medicare curtain!

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: 'grass-roots' campaign actually comes from health insurers.

Selective outrage over federal health care costs

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Conservatives slam risk fund for insurers, but have nothing to say about Medicare Advantage.

Opponents' missteps locked in Obamacare's future

By Wendell Potter

COMMENTARY: Republicans overplayed their hand, just as WellPoint did in 2010.

Reader-approved analysis from Wendell Potter

By Sarah Whitmire

Revisit some of the best analysis from former health insurance exec-turned-whistleblower, Wendell Potter.

The benefits of Obamacare in the simplest terms

By Wendell Potter

Consumer protections are about to kick in.

OPINION: making the tough health care calls

By Wendell Potter

Independent Payment Advisory Board may be best hope for trimming costs, eliminating unnecessary procedures.

The other Washington could hold the key to Medicare's cost crisis

By Joe Eaton

Washington state won't pay for medical procedures that don't work. Why can't Medicare do that?

ObamaCare oversight among health watchdog cuts

By Fred Schulte

Trims include ObamaCare oversight

Medicare fraud outrunning enforcement efforts

By Fred Schulte

Agency couldn't investigate 1,200 complaints, and more cuts coming.

OPINION: the peril of Obamacare's promise

By Wendell Potter

President's pledge may not be kept, but consumers could still benefit.

Feds 'listen' for sounds of Medicare billing abuse

By Fred Schulte

Baltimore session looks at role of electronic health records in higher medical bills.

GOP senators call for overhaul of electronic health records program

By Fred Schulte

Report says $35 billion Obama administration stimulus program not working

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