The New York Times seems pretty confidant in saying that the Affordable Care Act will be on the GOP chopping block in the early days of 2017. What does the Affordable Care Act have to do with Medicare? More than most of us realize, much more. The Kaiser Family Foundation report itemizes the negative impact repealing the ACA would have Medicare here. The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare makes the case that Donald Trump will not be able to repeal the ACA without breaking his promise to not weaken Medicare here.
Both of these articles make clear that the ACA strengthened Medicare by reducing the amount of Money that Medicare was paying to doctors and hospitals. The 2016 Medicare Trustee’s report indicates that this action extended Medicare’s solvency.
Undoing the good that the ACA did for Medicare will obviously weaken it and make it less stable. A Strong Medicare program does not need to be radically changed. A weak and destabilized Medicare would invite the radical changes that some Republican leaders like Paul Ryan and Tom Price are already proposing
The trouble is that most Republican leaders seem to think they do not need an invitation to dismantle the Medicare system that millions of American workers have built over the years on FICA payroll deduction at a time. Their intention to privatize Medicare will present many opportunities for those who support a strong Medicare to call and write Congress in the days and months ahead. No doubt, the direction and mode of attack will vary, but if we are to believe what GOP leaders have said, the effort to diminish the help that Medicare provides to retired workers and to the disabled will be unrelenting.
For now, the best way we can preserve and protect Medicare is by advocating against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
When you call your member of Congress say:
- Protect Medicare, do not weaken it.
- Before repealing the Affordable Care Act, have a replacement ready that preserves the improvements made to it by the Affordable Care Act.
- An estimated 10 million pre-seniors (within 10 years of Medicare eligibility) have health insurance through ACA. Any replacement needs to cover them. If they arrive at Medicare age without having had health care, they will be in poorer health and will put a greater strain on Medicare.
- What is true for pre-seniors is also true for all Americans. The healthier people are when they become eligible for Medicare, the less strain they put on Medicare. Therefore, any ACA replacement that does not cover as many Americans as possible during their years prior to Medicare eligibility weakens Medicare.
- In conclusion, please protect and preserve Medicare.
How to contact your member of Congress:
- Call the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare Legislative Hotline 1-800-998-0180
- Or, find your Congress member here, and call him or her directly.