Medicare is celebrating a birthday, and on the national stage, it’s being touted by Democrats as the model for a new healthcare system. Many Democratic presidential contenders call it Medicare for All; is that a fair description?

We examine the proposals and discuss what Medicare for All would entail, if put into practice. Our guests:

We have a conversation about Medicare for All with Michael Lighty, director of public policy for National Nurses United. Lighty has written and spoken about Medicare for All for more than 25 years.

He's in Rochester for a public presentation at the Fairport Library Thursday evening, but first, he's our guest on Connections.

New York’s local AARP chapter is urging U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer to close what the organization calls a “doughnut hole” in Medicare coverage for prescription drugs for seniors.

Randy Hoak, who directs the AARP’s efforts in the Rochester region, and Patrick Fox, who leads the organization’s Monroe County volunteers, dropped off over 8,000 signed petitions at Schumer’s Rochester office Friday afternoon.

When a person’s health costs were between about $4,000 and $5,000 in a year, Medicare’s contribution to their coverage dipped significantly.

Excellus Opens Medicare Resource Center in Greece

Oct 2, 2015

Older adults in our area have a new place to go to get questions answered about Medicare Advantage plans.

Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield opened a resource center in Greece to mark the beginning of the Medicare Advantage shopping season on Thursday.

Heather Smith is the director of that program for the insurer. She says the location will provide information in person.

“Folks can take a look at the plans they have currently, analyze what they have, what they’re looking for, their unique needs, and if they deem appropriate for 1/1/16,” says Smith.

Eighty percent of hospitals in New York State face penalties based on the number of Medicare patients that are readmitted into their care.

The federal government wants to reduce the number of avoidable hospital readmissions. This is the third year Medicare will cut reimbursements to hospitals based on the number of patients who have to check back in with complications from lung ailments, heart failure, heart attack, pneumonia, or after a hip or knee replacement.