May 21, 2012 In 2010, health spending rose fastest among people 18 and under, according to an analysis of data from private insurers. It's just one finding made possible by a new database.
May 15, 2012 How some insurers pay for treatments means that cancer pills can wind up costing a patient more than an IV. Some states have passed laws to make sure that patients don't have to pay more to take pills. But those laws don't apply to Medicare.
May 14, 2012 Of each dollar the federal government spends, how much goes to health care? How much goes to defense? How much goes to other programs? And how has spending changed over time?
April 24, 2012 Taxes are set to go up for most Americans next year. That's a good thing, Simon Johnson argues.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/151224338/151297438" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
April 23, 2012 The release of the Social Security and Medicare reports became an opportunity for Treasury Secretary Geithner to send voters the message that Obama administration was a staunch defender of the nation's most popular entitlements even though it accepted the need for gradual changes to make the programs more sustainable.
April 17, 2012 Falling into the "doughnut hole" of Medicare drug coverage led people to stop taking medicines for heart conditions more often than to search for cheaper alternatives, an analysis finds. The discontinuations didn't appear to affect health, but the researchers cautioned their study was relatively short.
Traditional Medicare doesn't pay for hearing aids, so some in Congress would like to give purchasers a tax break.
April 10, 2012 Bipartisan bills are pending again in both the House and Senate to give buyers of hearing aids a small tax break. But, once again, it looks as though the legislation has a long way to go before it could become law.
Medicare coverage for mental health services will reach 80 percent in 2014.
April 3, 2012 Medicare now covers screening for depression without any cost-sharing when patients visit their primary care doctor. That's a big deal, because the condition often goes undiagnosed in the elderly.
March 22, 2012 The House is expected to pass a bill that would eliminate a board that is charged with reining in Medicare spending. But Democrats generally oppose the change, and President Obama has promised to veto the legislation if it ever gets that far.
March 19, 2012 House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, who proposed a budget last year that was controversial because of radical changes it would have made to Medicare, is making another run at his target. This time he has a Democratic ally, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon. But progressive groups were already attacking the plan even before its official release Tuesday.
March 12, 2012 Now that he's 65, Romney is eligible for Medicare. But he does not want the coverage. If he changes his mind and signs up later, he may have to pay a penalty.
February 28, 2012 A Texas doctor and six co-conspirators indicted for an alleged long-running health care scam look to have set a new record for a medical practice: $350 million in fraudulent Medicare bills and $24 million under Medicaid over nearly six years ending in late 2011.
Inattention to catheters used often in ICUs can lead to serious infections.
February 9, 2012 Patients at hospitals in Maryland, Mississippi, Louisiana, Maine and New Hampshire were most likely to get blood infections caused by central lines, new federal data show. Medicare is gearing up to penalize hospitals with high rates of infections that are caused by the institutions.
December 22, 2011 With official Washington trapped in partisan gridlock, doctors who treat Medicare patients are once again facing the prospect of a big cut in pay that almost no one supports.
December 21, 2011 PolitiFact's decision apparently hinged on what the meaning of "end" is which seems to be the source of the problem. PolitiFact's logic, distilled to its essence, is that if a program continues to exist with the same name, albeit in radically changed form, it is inaccurate to describe the original program as having been ended.
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor