The 2016 Medicare Trustees Report

THE 20 16 ANNUAL REPORT OF THE BOARDS OF TRUSTEES OF THE FEDERAL HOSPITAL INSURANCE AND FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTARY MEDICAL INSURANCE TRUST FUNDS

Two things seem clear from the 2016 Trustees report:

  1. Medicare is in better shape financially because of the Affordable Care Act.
  2. Medicare will need further work, long-term, to insure that it is a stable provider of health insurance for working Americans in their retirement years.

The first thing that should be done to improve Medicare is to allow for Medicare to negotiate drug prices. Medicare buys more medications than any other insurance company, yet is required by law to pay 106% of the pharmaceutical company says is the average price. This makes no sense at all and is certainly not in the best interest of working Americans as they reach their retirement years.

If he party in control of Washington really wanted to help working Americans, they would start with this one simple step; Let Medicare negotiate drug prices. Whether helping working Americans is the aim of the coming administration remains to be seen. However, Republican leadership in congress along with many of the new president’s cabinet appointments have made their strong desires to privatize and voucherize Medicare very clear.  Such actions would be a disaster for Americans who rely on Medicare.

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