O’Brien nicely sums up the dilemma people will face if the cost-sharing options on the table become law. The proposed changes “would force them to weigh whether their needs justify the extra outlay.” How they do that is the productive thread for many future Medicare stories. Even if these proposals don’t go anywhere legislatively for now, “proposed changes to Medigap plans will remain under debate among policy experts and politicians,” O’Brien writes.

All the more reason to stay on top of the story.

Follow @USProjectCJR for more posts from this author and the rest of the United States Project team, including our work on healthcare issues and public health at The Second Opinion.

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Trudy Lieberman is a fellow at the Center for Advancing Health and a longtime contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. She is the lead writer for The Second Opinion, CJR’s healthcare desk, which is part of our United States Project on the coverage of politics and policy. Follow her on Twitter @Trudy_Lieberman.