FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mitchell Clark
Senior Communications Associate
March 28, 2012
Statement by Medicare Rights Center President Joe Baker on Supreme Court Proceedings and House Budget Debate
New York, NY— It is important to understand what is at stake for Medicare beneficiaries this week as the Supreme Court considers the Affordable Care Act and the House of Representatives considers the 2013 budget.
Because of the Affordable Care Act, millions of Medicare beneficiaries have already benefited from lower drug costs and free preventive services. With a median income of $25,000 a year and high rates of multiple chronic conditions, the Medicare population is unable to afford increased costs and health risks associated with re-opening the Medicare prescription drug doughnut hole or the reintroduction of barriers to potentially life saving services. What is often lost in the conversation is that the Affordable Care Act strengthens Medicare’s finances for an additional eight years without cutting benefits or making people pay more for care. In fact, the law invests in higher quality benefits and reduces out of pocket costs for the majority of people that Medicare serves.This is unlike the proposed House budget resolution, which saves the government money by ending Medicare as we know it today, converting it to a voucher program and drastically shifting extra costs onto older adults and people with disabilities. This plan undermines consumer protections like guaranteed benefits that help assure people with Medicare get coverage for the care they need. In contrast to the Affordable Care Act, the House budget does nothing to control overall health care costs, the major driver of growing costs in Medicare.
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Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives.
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