The 112th Congress brought a lot of new faces to the Capitol along with some not- so-new ideas about taxes, spending and health care. House Speaker John Boehner intends to repeal the Affordable Care Act as his ?number one priority,? which would be a terrible blow for seniors on Medicare.Although House Republicans like Boehner claim our deficit is unsustainable, they have no problem supporting a repeal that would add $230 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years.Not only is a repeal fiscally irresponsible, it takes away crucial Medicare improvements for seniors in the new law. These changes include:
- Improving Medicare?s fiscal health and extending the solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund.
- Closing Medicare?s ?doughnut hole? drug coverage gap for all beneficiaries.
- Eliminating wasteful subsidies to private insurers
- Eliminating cost-sharing for preventive services and adding coverage for a new annual wellness visit.
- Establishing new service delivery systems that focus on coordination of care, which studies show can reduce health care expenditures, improve quality of care and enhance health outcomes.
- Strengthening the fight against fraud, waste and abuse.
- Providing new Medicaid options to allow older people with chronic conditions to live at home rather than in institutions.
- Allowing all Americans to remain in their homes as they age by establishing the CLASS program to help pay for long-term services and supports.
The Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO), chaired by NCPSSM President and CEO Barbara Kennelly, sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday urging Representatives to reject a repeal of health care reform:
Millions of Americans have already benefited from provisions of the Affordable Care Act, including millions of seniors who received $250 towards the cost of their prescription drugs when they entered the Part D doughnut hole. The economic and physical health of seniors and their families will continue to benefit as the law is implemented further. We urge you not to deprive them of the protections created by the Affordable Care Act, and to vote against repeal.