Medicare and policy experts discussed the basics of how Medicare works at an event hosted by the Alliance for Health Reform (AHR).
The federal government currently devotes 15 percent of its budget to Medicare, which provides health care coverage to 50 million individuals ages 65 and over, and to younger people with permanent disabilities, according to AHR.
Panelists addressed the role of Medicare in the health care system, how the program has evolved, who is eligible and what benefits they receive, as well as how the program is financed and how doctors and other providers are paid.
Panelists included: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Deputy Administrator Jonathan Blum; Juliette Cubanski, associate director in the program on Medicare Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation; and Sheila Burke, adjunct lecturer in public policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
Tricia Neuman, vice president of Kaiser, and Ed Howard, executive vice president at AHR, moderated the discussion.