Fact: Health Care Reform is Good for Medicare

March 23, 2011 at 2:20 pm Leave a comment

March 23rd marks the first anniversary of the health care reform law. Health care reform is good for people and good for Medicare. It provides a boost for Medicare solvency and adds important benefits for Medicare beneficiaries. It also provides new coverage for sick children and for uninsured young adults. In these ways, older people, people with disabilities and their families are already benefiting from health care reform; they stand to gain even more in the years ahead. Unfortunately, efforts to repeal the law and to stop funding its implementation, threaten the future of Medicare and the improved benefits for Medicare beneficiaries and their families.

The Center for Medicare Advocacy has already seen how health reform has improved the lives of Connecticut’s 560,000 Medicare beneficiaries. For example, as a result of the health care reform law:

• Medicare beneficiaries no longer have to pay for preventive services such as mammographies, prostate screenings, glaucoma screenings, and diabetes management.
• Medicare beneficiaries are now able to have an annual wellness visit and to develop a health plan with their physicians.
• Medicare beneficiaries with particularly high medication needs are paying less for their medicines.
• Major efforts to eliminate fraud and waste in Medicare are underway.
• Billions of dollars in overpayments to private Medicare Advantage (MA) health plans are being phased out; while bonuses will be paid for those MA plans that do a laudable job.
• The long-term solvency of the Medicare program has been extended by approximately 12 years, until 2029.
• Families also benefit because older and disabled people have better Medicare coverage and security, insurance companies are prohibited from denying access to children with pre-existing conditions, and young adults up to age 26 can now get coverage under their parents’ health insurance.

All these benefits will end if the bills in Congress to de-fund health care reform pass, or repeal efforts succeed. The myriad additional benefits going into effect between now and 2014, when health care reform is fully implemented, will disappear. Medicare costs to taxpayers and beneficiaries alike will increase dramatically and the Medicare program itself will be in jeopardy.

Health care reform is good for Medicare, good for Medicare beneficiaries, and good for families. Funding and implementation of the law should proceed.

Entry filed under: Health Care Reform, Judith Stein, Medicare, Public vs. Private Health Coverage. Tags: , , .

What’s The Benefit of De-Funding Health Care Reform? Rationing Medicare & Health Care?

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Health Policy Expertise

We provide effective, innovative opportunities to impact federal Medicare and health care policies and legislation in order to advance fair access to Medicare and quality health care.

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March 2011