January 3, 2017
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I urge you to oppose S. Con. Res. 3, the Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Resolution. This resolution paves the way for repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which would result in changes in Medicare and Medicaid that would significantly harm older Americans due to reduced health care coverage and increased out-of-pocket costs for America’s senior population.
Medicare recipients are benefiting from improvements in the ACA including provisions to close the Medicare Part D coverage gap, known as the “donut hole,” and preventive screenings and services and an Annual Wellness Visit with no out-of-pocket costs. Since the enactment of the ACA through July 2016, more than 11 million seniors and people with disabilities have received savings and discounts in the donut hole of over $23.5 billion on prescription drugs, an average of $2,127 per beneficiary. In 2015 alone, an estimated 39.2 million people with Medicare took advantage of at least one preventive service with no copays or deductibles.
Payment and delivery system reforms, such as accountable care organizations and medical homes, are both improving the quality of care for beneficiaries, especially people with multiple chronic conditions, and reducing unnecessary Medicare spending. The ACA also strengthens efforts to reduce Medicare costs due to fraud, waste and abuse.
In addition, the ACA includes important provisions to increase the ability of states to provide home and community-based services through their Medicaid programs. This is important for older and disabled Americans who are able to receive long-term services and supports in their homes and communities, thus avoiding unnecessary and costly institutional care. Moreover, the health insurance reforms in the ACA, such as requiring insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing medical conditions and to limit age rating, are particularly important to older Americans not yet eligible for Medicare.
According to the 2016 Medicare Trustees Report, the solvency of the Part A Trust Fund has been extended by 11 years, to 2028, since passage of the ACA which reduced the rate of increase in provider payments and overpayments to Medicare Advantage plans. Preserving this extension is of great concern to seniors.
For the reasons cited above, the National Committee opposes repealing the Affordable Care Act. Repeal would hurt millions of seniors and people with disabilities who are benefiting from the Medicare and Medicaid improvements contained in the ACA. The National Committee strongly urges you to vote against S. Con. Res. 3.
President and CEO