Font Size

From the category archives: Medicare

Obamacare Court Ruling Is Good News for Medicare Too

You could literally hear the collective sigh of relief today as millions of Americans whose healthcare was in jeopardy found out today they can keep their coverage through Obamacare.  Today’s Supreme Court decision upholding federal exchange subsidies is also good news for millions of seniors in Medicare who stand to lose billions in new benefits if healthcare reform is dismantled. 

As we have said for years now, seniors in Medicare need the Affordable Care Act.  Today’s Supreme Court ruling helps preserve this vital reform.

"Today’s Supreme Court decision impacts so many more Americans than just those in federal health exchanges created by Obamacare.  Thankfully, the Court’s ruling today preserves the many benefits and savings that Americans have received through the Affordable Care Act and avoids the damage that could have been done to our entire American health care system.

Seniors in Medicare have a stake in this debate as they will save, on average, about $5,000 over the next 10 years due to lower drug costs, preventive services with no out-of-pocket cost and reductions in the growth of health spending.  Since passage of Obamacare, more than 8.2 million people with Medicare saved over $11.5 billion on prescription drugs.  These are real people who will face real threats to their health security if the quest to dismantle Obamacare is ever successful.  No doubt the enemies of health care reform will continue their zealous mission to roll back Obamacare’s successes but today we have reason to celebrate. Tomorrow we’ll resume our fight to ensure seniors continue to benefit from the enormous savings Obamacare provides them and their families.”...Max Richtman, NCPSSM President/CEO


Standing Strong for Social Security & Medicare

The fight to defend and strengthen Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid has seemed relentless in recent years as the programs have been under almost constant assault by the billion dollar anti-"entitlement" lobby and their supporters in Congress.  For staff here at the National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare it's been a challenging yet rewarding year as we have won many important battles in Washington to stop the shredding of America's social safety.  But it's not over yet.  

Here is our 2014-15 Annual Report for look back at a very important year in the fight to strengthen Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. 

Lessons from Today’s Trade Drama: Hands Off Medicare

With more drama and theatrics than your average reality TV show the House today rejected legislation that would cut $950 million from Medicare to pay for a trade provision.  The majority of Democrats correctly opposed the legislation, in spite of the President’s heavy lobbying for their support:

Obama spent roughly 45 minutes with Democratic lawmakers, taking no questions but telling his party to “vote your values,” according to a source in the room.

But Democratic lawmakers rebuffed him hours later, voting overwhelmingly to scuttle the trade package that was a centerpiece of the president’s second-term agenda. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who had remained silent for weeks on the trade issue, went to the House floor shortly before the vote to speak against the free trade deal.

“Whatever the deal is with other countries,” she said, “we want a better deal for America’s workers.”

 The House could re-vote on TAA next week. House Republican leaders say they have 100 votes for that bill, and Democrats need to provide 118. On Friday, Democrats provided 40, while 86 Republicans supported it. In other words, Democrats would need to essentially triple their their vote total to pass the measure.  Dems Deal President Huge Defeat - Politico

However, in the House nothing is ever simple and that vote isn’t the end of the story. NCPSSM has urged Members of Congress there is one important lesson from today’s drama – Hands Off Medicare.

“In spite of all the political sleight of hand and twisting of the legislative process into a pretzel to pass the trade package, there is one clear lesson today:  Medicare does not belong in the trade debate.  Period.  Trade Adjustment Assistance legislation failed in large part because it was burdened with a pay-for the American people simply do not support.  American workers deserve to have job training assistance through reauthorization of the TAA; however, demanding that important proposal be paid for by cutting $950 million dollars from Medicare poisoned the process.

Using Medicare to fund unrelated programs is a relatively new yet growing trend in Congress that simply must stop.  Medicare isn’t Washington’s ATM.  The American people understand this.  Hopefully, Members of Congress have learned that lesson and won’t make the same mistake again when the trade debate resumes.” ...Max Richtman, NCPSSM President/CEO

 

 

House Leaders Hope Political Smoke and Mirrors will Hide Medicare Cuts in Trade Bill

With an expected House vote tomorrow on controversial trade legislation supported by the President and the Senate, House leadership of bothparties are scrambling to find a way to provide political cover for the $950 million in Medicare cuts being used to fund part of the trade bill.  Stealing funds from Medicare to pay for Congress’ pet projects has become increasingly common.  This Trade package is just the latest example.   

Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Task Force on Seniors have led the charge against this proposal:

10,000 people a day turn 65.  We should be investing and expanding Medicare not stealing from it.  People have paid into this program and expect it to be there...not to use that to fund anytime we need money to pay for another program...Medicare is not the ATM for everything Congress wants to pay for.  Cutting this social insurance program isn’t the direction we should be going in. Medicare should not be the pay-for for trade deal. The best way to help workers is to stop trade deals that take their jobs...not cut Medicare to fund fixes.” Rep. Jan Shakowsky (D-IL)

“There’s going to be untold riches earned if TPP is enacted into law.  There’s no doubt about that. Great profits will be derived for large international corporations...it seems only logical that the multinationals should fund the costs of the Trade Adjustment Assistance. I can not abide this.  We’ll fight it with everything we have.”  Keith Ellison (D-MN)

That pressure has worked as more and more Members now realize what is included in this trade vote and this week voiced their opposition to using Medicare as an ATM to pay for Trade Adjustment Assistance legislation. 

However, rather than go back to the drawing board, House leaders have now crafted a political sleight of hand designed to pass TAA while providing Members of Congress political coverage for cutting Medicare.  This is a segment of NCPSSM’s letter to Congress today and comments from NCPSSM President/CEO, Max Richtman: 

“Although Representative Paul Ryan’s amendment to H.R. 1295, the “Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015,” would remove the Medicare sequester from H.R. 1314, there is no guarantee that the Senate will approve this amendment. In addition, the Ryan amendment is flawed because it does not remove the Medicare dialysis provision from H.R. 1314.

We believe that this scheme amounts to a shell game which will force you and your colleagues to be on record with a vote to cut a program that is supported overwhelmingly by Americans of all political affiliations and age groups. What’s more, it sets a dangerous precedent of treating Medicare as a piggybank to pay for unrelated programs. Savings from changes in Medicare policy should be used to improve Medicare – not for other purposes.”

“For millions of seniors and their families a vote to cut Medicare is a vote to cut Medicare.  Period.  There is no political sleight of hand that will provide Members of Congress protection on election day for a vote which raids Medicare to pay for the trade bill.

Cutting Medicare to pay for everything else under the sun has become a habit that Congress needs to break.  This trade vote is the perfect time to do it. 

Medicare isn’t Washington’s ATM.  The American people understand this.  Members of Congress who don’t will undoubtedly be reminded very clearly by their political opponents and voters come Election Day.”...Max Richtman, NCPSSM President/CEO

 

 

 

 

 

Seniors Tell Congress Medicare Isn’t Your ATM

 

 

Seniors advocates with the Alliance for Retired Americans and the National Committee joined Reps. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) in a press event today to express their opposition to legislation that would cut $700 million from Medicare to pay for a slice of the Trade Deal now being debated in Congress. 

“Medicare is not the piggy bank for other programs. We’ve already seen what sequester has meant for the program.  We’ve written to Congress because there’s just not enough awareness on this issue.  Across the board cuts affects the integrity of the Medicare program.” Rich Fiesta, Alliance for Retired Americans Executive Director

“The use of Medicare cuts, 700 million dollars of Medicare cuts, to finance a program totally unrelated to Medicare sets a terrible precedent.  It’s not death by a thousand cuts but that’s where we seem to be headed.  I think it’s interesting that many of the same members of Congress who condemned Obamacare and decried savings in the Medicare program as cuts--savings which were, by the way, plowed right back into the program to provide preventive screenings, close the Part D donut hole and extend the program’s solvency--are now some of the same legislators who want to really cut money from Medicare to pay for an unrelated program.”  Max Richtman, National Committee President/CEO

Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Task Force on Seniors are leading the charge against this proposal:

10,000 people a day turn 65.  We should be investing and expanding Medicare not stealing from it.  People have paid into this program and expect it to be there...not to use that to fund anytime we need money to pay for another program...Medicare is not the ATM for everything Congress wants to pay for.  Cutting this social insurance program isn’t the direction we should be going in. Medicare should not be the pay-for for trade deal. The best way to help workers is to stop trade deals that take their jobs...not cut Medicare to fund fixes.” Rep. Jan Shakowsky (D-IL)

“There’s going to be untold riches earned if TPP is enacted into law.  There’s no doubt about that. Great profits will be derived for large international corporations...it seems only logical that the multinationals should fund the costs of the Trade Adjustment Assistance. I can not abide this.  We’ll fight it with everything we have.”  Keith Ellison (D-MN)

Reps. Ellison and Schakowsky say many of their colleagues don’t even realize this Medicare cut was slipped into the Trade Assistance provision.  They’re raising the alarm but hope seniors and their families will also call and email their Members of Congress now since the debate is underway. 

You can do that easily from our Leg Action Center. 

SEND YOUR EMAIL TODAY!

Pages: Prev1234567...72NextReturn Top

Get the Latest

Indicates required fields


Questions?

Have a Social Security or Medicare question?


 

Archives
Media Contacts

Pamela Causey
Communications Director
Causeyp@ncpssm.org(202) 216-8378
(202) 236-2123 cell

Kim Wright
Assistant Director of Communications
Wrightk@ncpssm.org
(202) 216-8414

Entitled to Know

Medicare's Top 10
     

 

Copyright © 2015 by NCPSSM
Login  |