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How the new health law affects Medicare

Wall Street Journal, April 12, 2010

Supporters and opponents of healthcare reform differ over whether the measure will ultimately bolster or undermine Medicare. As soon as 2011, people enrolled in Medicare will see an expansion of benefits. Currently, Medicare recipients are entitled to one covered physical examination within 12 months of enrolling in the program. After that, they must pick up the tab for this service. But starting in 2011, Medicare will pay 100% of the cost of routine annual physicals. It also will completely cover the cost of other preventative services. But upper-income participants should prepare for higher premiums and, in some cases, higher taxes, too, the Wall Street Journal reports.