The January 2009 issue of Health Care News reports on a measure introduced by Congressman Sam Johnson to allow senior citizens to opt out of Medicare and still receive Social Security benefits. We also report on page 1 that voters in Maine repealed a tax increase aimed at increasing funding for Dirigo Care.
Among this issue’s other top stories:
* State and federal spending on Medicaid will nearly double in the next decade, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services—and analysts say those projections may underestimate the problem.
* The U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to rule whether states can overturn Food and Drug Administration decisions. At stake: drug innovation and availability.
* A new study confirms private-sector drug research is helping improve Americans’ health, which is increasingly important as the nation’s population ages.
* The push to import cheap prescription drugs from other countries is increasing the danger of consumers getting weak, false, or tainted drugs while unwittingly helping finance international terrorism.
* An experimental effort allowing Florida Medicaid recipients to pick their health plan from a variety of private insurers may soon be expanded from five test counties to 20 additional ones. The program has received mixed reviews.
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