This week on the podcast, we take a look at what the pandemic is teaching us about ways to improve Medicare. The crisis has put a bright spotlight on weaknesses in many of the systems designed to protect Americans from risks. But older people are more susceptible to serious illness and death from the virus. The problems in Medicare were evident before the pandemic, and now they are becoming even more clear.

My guest is attorney Judith Stein, the founder and executive director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy, which provides education, advocacy and legal assistance to help seniors and disabled people get access to Medicare. Judy is a pioneer in this work and one of the most knowledgeable people in the country on Medicare.

I expect Medicare reform will be on the agenda in Washington after the pandemic recedes. If nothing else, the looming exhaustion of the Part A Hospital Insurance trust fund in 2026 must be dealt with, as discussed in last week’s newsletter. But the pandemic underscores problems in the way that Medicare oversees nursing homes and the rising privatization of the program. We also should deal with the gap in dental, vision and hearing coverage, enrollment simplification and more.

Click here to listen to the podcast.