Congresswoman Chellie Pingree voted today to block a scheduled increase in Medicare Part B premiums that would have affected approximately one out of every four Medicare beneficiaries. The bill passed the House today by a vote of 406-18 and now goes on to the Senate.
Premiums for Medicare Part B, which pays for doctor's bills and outpatient care, would increase by nearly $25 a month without this legislation. Over 237,000 seniors and disabled individuals in Maine are enrolled in Medicare Part B.
"As we continue to debate health care reform, it is absolutely essential we protect, preserve and strengthen Medicare," Pingree said. "One of my top priorities is protecting the Medicare benefits Maine people receive. And the last thing they need is an increase in their premiums."
Current Medicare Part B premiums are $96.40 a month and will remain unchanged for most beneficiaries. But without the bill passed in the House today, 27% of beneficiaries would see their monthly premiums increase to $120 a month.