Today, Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) said that on this Mother's Day he is recommitting himself to the Democratic led efforts to protect Medicare.
"Sadly, the Republican budget plan eliminates Medicare as we know it, and would replace it with an ineffective voucher system," said Rep. Baca. "In Congress, I will fight to protect and save Medicare, which is critical to America's moms and grandmothers."
"Medicare is of vital importance to American women, especially the 2.4 million plus women in California enrolled in the program," said Rep. Baca. "Older women, on average, live longer than men, have lower incomes than men, and have more chronic health conditions than men -- making Medicare even more vital to their wellbeing."
The Republican plan to end Medicare as we know it would have a particularly devastating impact on women:
* Women represent 56 percent of the Medicare population.
* Among the oldest Medicare beneficiaries (ages 85 and older), 70 percent are women.
* 59 percent of women on Medicare have three or more chronic health conditions, compared to 38 percent of men.
* Similarly, women have higher rates than men of many chronic conditions, including arthritis, hypertension, and osteoporosis.
* 16 percent of Medicare beneficiaries reach the prescription drug "donut hole' coverage gap each year. Women, in addition to people with diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, are the most likely to end up in the "donut hole.'
* 57 percent of women on Medicare live below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, compared to 45 percent of men. Eliminating the requirement that health plans that are new or revised begin providing free preventive care, with the elimination resulting in increased out-of-pocket costs for 76,000 individuals.
"Instead of focusing on creating new jobs and strengthening our economic recovery, Republicans have pushed forward a plan to end guaranteed Medicare benefits for anyone currently under the age of 55," concluded Rep. Baca. "I will continue to work to protect Medicare, and oppose the Republican effort to replace our current system with a misguided voucher approach."
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has said that the Republican plan would more than double the typical senior's out-of-pocket health care spending in 2022, increasing seniors' costs by more than $6,000. By 2030, seniors' out-of-pocket costs would nearly triple.
The Republican plan would also force seniors to negotiate with private health insurance companies; repeal the closing of the prescription drug "donut hole,' costing many seniors thousands of dollars; and end free preventive services under Medicare.