Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today after the Department of Health and Human Services announced that Medicare Part B monthly premiums for 2012 will be significantly lower than projected earlier by the Medicare Trustees -- by nearly $7 -- and that the Medicare Part B deductible will decrease by $22 from 2011. This announcement means that Part B premiums will rise only $3.50 over a three-year period for most enrollees. It also comes on the heels of last month's news that Medicare Advantage premiums will fall an average of 4 percent next year, while Part D prescription drug premiums will remain largely unchanged:
"Today's announcement makes it clear: the Affordable Care Act is helping make Medicare more affordable. And it is making Medicare more cost-effective. With lower premiums and lower costs, America's seniors will be able to access the care they need at a price they can afford.
"With new tools provided by the Affordable Care Act, Medicare is improving how it pays providers, enhancing patient care, and achieving critical cost savings. Health reform is also improving Medicare benefits -- ensuring free preventive services for seniors and providing a 50 percent discount on covered prescription drugs when beneficiaries enter the "donut hole.'
"This announcement helps fulfill a fundamental promise of the Affordable Care Act: putting health insurance and medical care in reach for every American. Thanks to health care reform, Medicare is stronger and our seniors are better off."