Medicare & Health Care Savings: Can Entitlement Reforms Help to Bridge the Gaps for Healthy Aging

As entitlement reform and deficit reduction efforts heat up in 2013, it’s important to keep in mind how the health status of its beneficiaries drives costs within Medicare. Ninety-nine percent of every dollar spent in Medicare is for beneficiaries with at least one chronic condition and two-thirds is used for people with five or more chronic conditions. Two out of three Medicare beneficiaries, including those also covered by Medicaid, have more than one chronic condition, reducing the quality of life for seniors and driving health care costs up significantly.

Please join the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease for an in-depth discussion on the impact that chronic disease has on costs within the Medicare program, how Medicare benefits support healthy aging and can help to lower costs, and policy implications for lawmakers moving forward. Additionally, this event will highlight coordinated health care models that enable seniors to “age in place”, enjoy better health longer, and reduce costs.

The event will be moderated by PFCD Chairman Kenneth Thorpe, PhD, and will also feature:

  • Howard Bedlin - Vice President, Public Policy and Advocacy, National Council on Aging 
  • Bob Blancato - Executive Director, National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs
  • Anshu Choudhri, MHS - Director of Strategic Priorities, Office of Clinical Affairs, Blue Cross Blue Shield

Tuesday, December 11
12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Welcome, Lunch & Keynote
1:00 p.m. – 1:40 p.m. Panelist Presentations
1:40 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Q&A, Closing 

Capitol Visitors Center, Senate Room 203, Washington, D.C.

*This event has been structured to comply with the Widely Attended Event exception to the Congressional Gift Ban.* 


Medicare and Health Care Savings: Can Entitlement Reforms Help to Bridge the Gaps for Healthy Aging

Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease Healthy Aging Event - Robert Blancato

Leadership in Patient-Centered Medical Homes

NCOA Falls Prevention Issue Brief

The Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP)


Howard Bedlin is the Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy for the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and has been advocating on federal health policy issues for 30 years. He is responsible for NCOA’s legislative and public policy efforts on a broad range of senior programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, long-term care, and the Older Americans Act.

Prior to joining NCOA, Howard was a Legislative Representative with AARP for over ten years. Before that, Howard was the Deputy Director of Government Affairs for the National Association for Home Care and the Counsel for Public Policy for LeadingAge, formerly the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging.

Howard is the Health Committee Co-Chair of the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO), a 68-member coalition of national senior groups. NCOA currently chairs the coalition, which is focusing its attention and resources on federal budget and entitlement reform issues.

Howard received his law degree and Masters in Public Policy Science from the University of Maryland.

Bob Blancato is President of Matz, Blancato and Associates, a firm founded in 1996, with offices in Washington and New York providing a wide array of services for clients ranging from consulting and lobbying to advocacy services and association and coalition management. Preceding this, Bob had a career in public service spanning more than 20 years in both the Congress and the Executive Branch. He was appointed by President Clinton to be the Executive Director of the 1995 White House Conference on Aging. Ten years later he was named to the Policy Committee for the 2005 Conference by Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

Bob currently services as the National Coordinator of the 3000 member nonpartisan Elder Justice Coalition. He also serves as Executive Director of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs.

As a volunteer, Bob serves on the Board and Executive Committee of the American Society on Aging. He is also on the Board of the National Council on Aging and Generations United. He was also appointed in 2008 by Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia to be on the Commonwealth Council on Aging, served as Chair from 2009-2011 and was reappointed for another 4 year term by Governor Robert Mc Donnell in August of 2012.

Bob holds a BA from Georgetown University and an MPA from American University. He has been on the adjunct faculty for a number of schools including the New School for Social Research, George Washington University, the University of Maryland and the Brookdale Center at Hunter College.

Bob has received a number of awards for advocacy and service including the Arthur Flemming Award and the highest advocacy awards from the Older Women’s League and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging. In 2012 he was awarded the Riland Medal of Public Service from the New York Institute of Technology. Finally, in 2011 Bob was knighted by the Italian Republic for his commitment to the relationship between the United States and Italy.