While the ACA primarily is designed to provide affordable coverage to people not yet eligible for Medicare and without employer coverage, it also strengthens Medicare in a variety of ways, bringing down out-of-pocket costs for enrollees and extending the life of the Trust Fund:
- It expands coverage under the Medicare Part D drug benefit. In 2017, the ACA ensures that the millions of people with high drug costs–with total drug costs of more than $3,700–are not responsible for the full $1,250 of their drug costs before the Medicare Part D catastrophic cap kicks in at $4,950 in drug costs. Instead, people are only required to pay 40 percent of the cost of their brand-name drugs and 51 percent of the cost of their generic drugs. And, if this ACA protection remains, the amount they pay in the coverage gap or “donut hole” will continue to shrink to 25 percent of their drug costs by 2020.
- It requires that many Medicare preventive care services be covered in full, without a deductible.
- It extends the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by 12 years to 2029.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated in a June 2015 report that if the ACA were repealed, it would add $802 billion to Medicare’s costs over the ten-year period ending in 2025. The ACA reined in payment rates under both traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans. Specifically, it reduced some provider payments in traditional Medicare. And, it reduced overpayments to Medicare Advantage plans so that they are no longer 14 percent higher than average per person costs under traditional Medicare, as they had been.
With the confirmation of Tom Price as Health and Human Services Secretary, the United States Senate confirmed a person who has publicly stated his desire to dismantle health care as we know it. Price’s intention for Medicare will no doubt be costly for seniors and the disabled. Insurance companies and the extremely wealthy will be the biggest beneficiaries of Price’s leadership, not to mention the drug companies. As a member of Congress, Price sponsored legislation that benefited companies in which he owned stock. His concern is obviously for himself and his wealthy benefactors, not the working class people of America.
51 votes will ensure confirmationYes52No47Not voting: 1
R Todd Young Ind. R Roger Wicker Miss. R Thom Tillis N.C. R Patrick J. Toomey Pa. R John Thune S.D. R Dan Sullivan Alaska R Ben Sasse Neb. R Tim Scott S.C. R Luther Strange Ala. R Richard C. Shelby Ala. R Michael Rounds S.D. R Marco Rubio Fla. R Jim Risch Idaho R Pat Roberts Kan. R David Perdue Ga. R Rand Paul Ky. R Rob Portman Ohio R Lisa Murkowski Alaska R Jerry Moran Kan. R Mitch McConnell Ky. R John McCain Ariz. R Mike Lee Utah R James Lankford Okla. R John Kennedy La. R Ron Johnson Wis. R Johnny Isakson Ga. R James M. Inhofe Okla. R John Hoeven N.D. R Dean Heller Nev. R Orrin G. Hatch Utah R Cory Gardner Colo. R Charles E. Grassley Iowa R Lindsey Graham S.C. R Deb Fischer Neb. R Jeff Flake Ariz. R Joni Ernst Iowa R Michael B. Enzi Wyo. R Steve Daines Mont. R Ted Cruz Tex. R Tom Cotton Ark. R Bill Cassidy La. R Bob Corker Tenn. R John Cornyn Tex. R Shelley Moore Capito W.Va. R Susan Collins Me. R Michael D. Crapo Idaho R Thad Cochran Miss. R John Barrasso Wyo. R John Boozman Ark. R Richard M. Burr N.C. R Roy Blunt Mo. R Lamar Alexander Tenn.
D Elizabeth Warren Mass. D Mark Warner Va. D Sheldon Whitehouse R.I. D Ron Wyden Ore. D Chris Van Hollen Md. D Tom Udall N.M. D Jon Tester Mont. D Brian Schatz Hawaii D Jeanne Shaheen N.H. D Debbie Stabenow Mich. D Chuck Schumer N.Y. D Jack Reed R.I. D Gary Peters Mich. D Bill Nelson Fla. D Joe Manchin III W.Va. D Jeff Merkley Ore. D Christopher S. Murphy Conn. D Patty Murray Wash. D Robert Menendez N.J. D Edward J. Markey Mass. D Patrick J. Leahy Vt. D Tim Kaine Va. D Amy Klobuchar Minn. D Maggie Hassan N.H. D Kamala Harris Calif. D Heidi Heitkamp N.D. D Martin Heinrich N.M. D Mazie K. Hirono Hawaii D Kirsten Gillibrand N.Y. D Al Franken Minn. D Dianne Feinstein Calif. D Tammy Duckworth Ill. D Joe Donnelly Ind. D Richard J. Durbin Ill. D Catherine Cortez Masto Nev. D Chris Coons Del. D Bob Casey Pa. D Thomas R. Carper Del. D Benjamin L. Cardin Md. D Maria Cantwell Wash. D Cory Booker N.J. D Richard Blumenthal Conn. D Michael Bennet Colo. D Tammy Baldwin Wis. D Sherrod Brown Ohio I Bernie Sanders Vt. I Angus King Me.
D Claire McCaskill Mo.
Medicare demonstrates that there are some services that the federal government provides better than the private sector. The mere existence of Medicare (and Social Security) puts the lie to the claim that everything should be privatized. For that reason, today’s Republicans, who hate government and want to privatize everything, are determined to end Medicare as we know it.
One of those anti-government zealots, Representative Tom Price (R-GA), has been nominated by Donald Trump to be the fox in the Medicare hen house — Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Department responsible for the administration of Medicare. He has made his antagonism to Medicare clear.
Against all evidence, Price claims that “nothing has had a greater negative effect on the delivery of health care than the federal government’s intrusion into medicine through Medicare.” Of course, the exact opposite is true. Medicare saves lives. It allows seniors and people with disabilities, those with the greatest health needs, to obtain life-saving health care.
GOP Senators Running For Reelection In 2018
|Barrasso, John – (R – WY)||(202) 224-6441||@SenJohnBarrasso|
|Corker, Bob – (R – TN)||(202) 224-3344||@SenBobCorker|
|Cruz, Ted – (R – TX)||(202) 224-5922||@SenTedCruz|
|Fischer, Deb – (R – NE)||(202) 224-6551||@SenatorFischer|
|Flake, Jeff – (R – AZ)||(202) 224-4521||@JeffFlake|
|Hatch, Orrin G. – (R – UT)||(202) 224-5251||@SenOrrinHatch|
|Heller, Dean – (R – NV)||(202) 224-6244||@SenDeanHeller|
|Wicker, Roger F. – (R – MS)||(202) 224-6253||@SenatorWicker|
If one of these is your Senator, call often. None of them want their votes against Medicare, Medicaid or health care for all Americans to be the reason they lose their Senate seats in 2018. Let them know you are watching. A vote for Price is a vote against America’s health.
Michael F. Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies at the libertarian Cato Institute, does a poor job of hiding his anti-health care bias in this article. He frequently refers to “Obamacare regulations” as the driving negative force inside of the Affordable Care Act. He never clearly identifies exactly which regulations are the problem, but rather uses the phrase to make blanket accusations and dire pleas for full repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
If we had to guess which regulations bother Mr. Cannon the most, and we do because he does not say, where would start? What about the ACA regulation that prevents Americans from being denied health insurance because of preexisting conditions? What about the ACA regulation that removes the cap on lifetime benefits? What about the ACA regulations that benefit Medicare participants and extend the solvency of Medicare?
“Regulations” are always bad in the GOP/libertarian universe, but what Mr. Cannon is referring to as regulation is actually what most Americans like best about the Affordable Care Act. What Mr. Cannon’s piece reflects is the Republican desire to increase profits for insurance companies and put more money in the pockets of their wealthy donors. This is such an important republican goal that they have little regard of the increase burden that achieving it will put working class Americans.
The headline, “AARP President: Paul Ryan’s Medicare Plan Could Hurt Seniors,” made me think that @AARP had gone way to soft on Paul Ryan and his plan to dismantle Medicare. I thought this because anyone who has taken more than cursory glance at Ryan’s plan knows that it would not benefit America’s seniors or disabled. In fact, it would make life more difficult for them.
After reading the article, I realized that AARP president and writer of the article, Eric J. Schneidewind, made it clear in his first paragraph that he thought Ryan’s plan would be a disaster for Medicare participants.
Medicare is being targeted by key congressional leaders for a sweeping set of changes that would dramatically increase healthcare costs for seniors and ultimately leave them paying more for their healthcare while getting less.
Highlighting the specific way Ryan’s plan would hurt seniors
Under these congressional plans, what happens to seniors if, for example, the values of the vouchers they receive fail to provide them with enough to buy what Medicare now covers? And what happens if the ongoing costs of their coverage exceed the amount of the vouchers they will now receive? The two choices appear to be a) either pay more out of their own pocket for the same coverage, or b) skip the medical care in question.
While Speaker Ryan has dubbed his voucher-based approach “premium support,” no one should be misled by the benign-sounding term. This is a clear downgrade of the Medicare benefits people have earned throughout their working lives, and the use of buzzwords like “modernization” and “choice” cannot hide the fact that seniors will be asked to bear more risk at greater personal cost.
There is not one ounce of “could” in Schneidewind‘s remarks about Ryan’s plan. He is crystal clear in his assessment that Ryan’s plan will hurt America’s seniors. Therefore, the question arises, why so much disparity between the content of the article and the message conveyed by the headline? Is Time magazine trying to lull America’s seniors to sleep?
We live in perilous times. This is especially true of American’s who are vulnerable to changing political policies. We rely on the media for information. We expect it to be accurate. Everyday Americans are not well served by alternative facts and distorted headlines. Time, we need for you to be more thoughtful and precise.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus casually put Medicare and Medicaid in the crosshairs when asked how he plans to find the 15 billion dollars needed to fund Donald Trump’s Chinese wall. On Thursday, MSNBC’s Greta Susteren brought on the leader of the most fiscally conservative nuts in the GOP and…