Fundamentals Briefing

Understanding Medicare and Medicaid: Fundamentals and Issues for the New Congress
January 13–14, 2005


Nora Super & Jennifer Ryan


This one and one-half day, invitation-only seminar was requested by congressional staff to provide an overview of the fundamentals of the Medicare, Medicaid, and State Children's Health Insurance programs. The sessions featured experts from the Congressional Budget Office, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Congressional Research Service, Government Accountability Office, and Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, in addition to other public and private entities. Speakers described and explained the basics of the structural and financial underpinnings of Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP, as well as issues likely to be addressed by the new Congress, including the future of Medicaid, the Medicare prescription drug benefit, and hot topics in Medicare reimbursement. A briefing book was prepared for the seminar; an electronic version containing links to the sessions' presentations and handouts as well as to additional reports, Web sites, and other resources.

In 2015, a new version of this series was conducted; please see its briefing book here.

Related Materials

For more on the fundamentals of Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP, see the following Forum publications: "Medicare" (The Basics, January 4, 2016), "The Medicare Drug Benefit (Part D)" (The Basics, January 4, 2016), "Medicaid Eligibility and Benefits" (The Basics, January 5, 2016), "Medicaid Financing" (The Basics, January 5, 2016), and "The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP): The Fundamentals" (Background Paper No. 68, April 23, 2009).

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