Affordable Care Act helps Medicare

DITOR:

First District Congressman Dan Benishek is constantly campaigning against “Obamacare.”

Dr. Dan is not in touch with his senior constituents in Northern Michigan. The Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) brings real benefits to those who have Medicare.

As a result of the ACA about 7.9 million Medicare beneficiaries, nationwide, have saved $9.9 billion on prescription drugs in the coverage gap thanks to discounts on brand name and generic medications, according to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

In 2013, 27.2 million beneficiaries accessed at least one preventive service, including mammograms, prostate cancer screenings, and the annual wellness visit, at no out-of-pocket cost. As a result, the Medicare program is stable with an improved outlook for future beneficiaries, according to the CMS.

Mr. Joe Baker, president of the CMS, said, “The Medicare program is stronger than ever, due in large part to the ACA. Medicare beneficiaries are receiving preventive services at no cost as well as more affordable prescription drugs in the coverage gap, and while the immediate benefits of health reform are encouraging, there is still a lot to look forward to as the law continues to be implemented.”

Future improvements, that will occur as ACA implementation continues, include the closure of the Part D coverage gap by 2020 with more responsible spending by the Medicare Advantage plans which started this year, and gradual reductions in overpayments to the MA plan to bring them in line with costs under the original Medicare.

According to Mr. Baker, “Continued implementation of the Affordable Care Act is essential to preserving and strengthening Medicare for current and future beneficiaries.”

A November vote for Dr. Benishek, who is against the ACA, will jeopardize the future of the Medicare programs for our seniors. Be an informed voter.

Carolyn Bourland

Petoskey