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What We're Reading: Are Reforms Coming to Medicare?


What we're reading, November 28, 2016: The GOP is considering reforms to Medicare and Democrats are gearing up for a fight; the IRS will send letters to try to sign more people up for Obamacare; and the abortion rate reaches the lowest level in decades.

The Republican Party is eyeing Medicare reforms following its Election Day success. According to The New York Times, House Republicans are considering a fixed government contribution for each beneficiary instead of the current open-ended commitment. Democrats are preparing for a battle over the changes, which they believe would lead to sicker patients being left in traditional Medicare to face higher premiums, while healthier beneficiaries choose private insurance through the Medicare program.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is attempting to sign more people up for health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. The agency will send out letters to Americans who pay the tax penalty instead of purchasing insurance, reported The Washington Times. Republicans say the plan risks disclosure of taxpayers’ information, but the IRS claims it is only following the law, which requires it to let people know about the option.

The abortion rate in the United States has reached the lowest level since 1971, which was before abortion rights had been extended nationwide. The CDC reported that the abortion rate for 2013 was 12.5 abortions per 1000 women. However, the CDC doesn’t receive abortion information from California, Maryland, and New Hampshire.

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