September 24, 2013
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I am writing to urge you to oppose defunding of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as required by H.J. Res. 59, the Continuing Appropriations Resolution for Fiscal Year 2014. H.J. Res. 59 was approved by the House of Representatives on September 20.
The ACA is helping to contain overall health care costs and includes important provisions already in effect that are improving health care and saving money for millions of Medicare beneficiaries. If the law were defunded, Medicare beneficiaries with large prescription drug costs would lose the current 52.5 percent discount on brand-name prescription drugs and the Medicare Part D coverage gap known as the “donut hole” would be fully reimposed. In addition, seniors would again pay deductibles or copayments for services like mammograms, prostate screenings, colorectal cancer screenings and bone mass measurements, and would lose their free annual checkups and personal health evaluations from their doctors.
Beyond Medicare beneficiaries, the ACA is vital to millions of “young seniors,” ages 50-64, who are uninsured because they do not have access to affordable private insurance or Medicaid. Access to health care will benefit older adults, and it will reduce costs for Medicare if newly-eligible beneficiaries are healthier when they enter the program. If the ACA were defunded, older adults not yet eligible for Medicare would lose premium credits which would make private insurance less affordable. Finally, millions of low-income young seniors would not be covered under the law’s expansion of Medicaid.
The National Committee supports passage of a continuing resolution, but not the House-passed H.J. Res. 59. The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act is a victory for all Americans, especially seniors who are already receiving benefits from the law and older Americans who will gain access to coverage through private insurance or Medicaid. The National Committee urges you to support the Affordable Care Act and to vote against the House-approved continuing resolution or any other legislation to repeal this important law.
President and CEO