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Mark Miller: Remaking Retirement

The Future of Medicare

The program, which turns 50 this month, is at a crossroads.

Medicare is having a midlife identity crisis. Our most important health insurance program celebrates its 50th birthday on July 30, and two political and policy visions for Medicare's future are competing for supremacy in Washington. And the winning direction will have important consequences for retirees in the decades ahead.

The question on the table is how to best pay for health care for our aging population. In 2050, the 65-and-older population will reach 83.7 million--almost double what it was in 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.