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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Medicaid estimate renews cost concerns over ‘Obamacare’

WASHINGTON – A government report finds that the cost of expanding Medicaid to millions more low-income people is increasing faster than expected, raising questions about a vital part of President Barack Obama’s health care law. The law provided for the federal government to pay the entire cost of the Medicaid expansion from 2014 through the end of this year.

Authorities: $1B Medicare fraud nursing home scam, 3 charged

Three people have been charged in an unprecedented $1 billion health care fraud scam, accused of using dozens of Miami nursing homes to bilk the taxpayer-funded Medicare and Medicaid programs, according to an indictment unsealed Friday.

Drug pricing poses danger to all

When Sovaldi hit the market it set a new standard for drug pricing. The $80,000-plus treatment charge meant that if every American who could benefit received the drug, the annual cost would exceed that of all other drugs prescribed in the U.S. combined.

Treating hearing loss shouldn’t be a pricey hassle, panel says

Treating hearing loss shouldn’t be such a pricey hassle. That’s the message from a prestigious government advisory group that’s calling on Medicare and other agencies to find ways to make better hearing more affordable and accessible for millions of older Americans.

Free class on Medicare

Need help navigating Medicare? The Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) is having a free Welcome to Medicare class June 7 at Northern Quest Resort and Casino.

Stagnant Congress lacking leadership

Among the group of people who watch Congress closely, there was unanimity: This will end up as one of the least productive years in congressional history.

Opinions from past add perspective

Editorials covered a six-week coal miners strike, the growing influence of women on the abortion issue, the expansion of mail-in ballots and struggles to roll out Medicare Part D

Boomers face pitfalls in complex Medicare choices

Signing up for Medicare, the federal government’s health care system for the elderly and disabled, involves complex choices. Medicare’s complicated options involve potential pitfalls that can hurt people later in life, when medical and financial situations change.

Hospitals fear rise in readmissions

A federal pilot program that’s helped keep local high-risk Medicare patients at home and healthy while reducing hospital readmission rates ended this week, but not the community resolve to help patients from returning to the hospital in the first 30 days after release.

Guest opinion: Medicare Part B needs to be kept strong

Washington’s seniors deserve quality care. Medicare Part B provides that care, which is why it’s so essential for the program to remain strong. All of our representatives should follow the lead of Murray, Cantwell, Reichert and McMorris Rodgers to protect Washington’s seniors.

BBB Tip of the Week: Medicare Open Enrollment Scams

Open enrollment for Medicare recipients continues through December 7. During this time of year, recipients can comparison shop and change their plans if they choose. This is also the time when scammers focus on those with Medicare.

Birthday party honors Medicare’s 50th

Medicare is turning 50 this year and the Washington State Alliance for Retired Americans and other retiree and labor advocacy groups are having a party Thursday at Spokane Community College in the Lair Student Center. The free celebration includes birthday cake and live music by the band “8 Tracks.” People will share their personal stories of benefiting from Medicare, the federal health insurance program for people 65 or older or younger people with certain disabilities. State Rep. Marcus Riccelli, D-Spokane, will advocate for protecting the program.