A new poll released today by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation shows that, by an 18-point margin, Americans prefer the continuation of Medicare as it is today rather than turning the program into a voucher system as proposed in the Ryan Budget plan supported by House Republicans. The poll is available at: http://www.kff.org/kaiserpolls/upload/8361-F.pdf
"The more Americans hear about the GOP's plan to end Medicare as we know it and shift health care costs to seniors, the more they join me in rejecting it," said Congressman Tim Bishop. "Americans have invested in the Medicare guarantee over a lifetime of work, and the Republican plan to end it is unacceptable."
Also this week, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a new report on the health care savings for seniors on Medicare delivered by the Affordable Care Act, which Congressman Bishop supported. Thanks to the health care law, the average senior with traditional Medicare will save $5,000 over the period 2010 - 2022, and Medicare beneficiaries with high prescription drug costs will save more than $18,000 over the same period according to the new report, which is available at: http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2012/beneficiarysavings/ib.shtml
The Affordable Care Act takes steps to close the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap known as the "donut hole," and seniors and people with disabilities in New York have already saved over $322 million on prescription drugs since the law was enacted, according to HHS. In the first eight months of this year, New York seniors enrolled in the prescription drug program have saved an average of $663 in the first eight months of 2012 alone.
The Affordable Care Act also provides free preventive services to Medicare beneficiaries including mammograms and colonoscopies, and an Annual Wellness Visit, a new benefit that allows seniors a free annual opportunity to meet with their doctor to develop or update a personalized disease-prevention plan based on current health and risk factors. Over 1.1 million New Yorkers have accessed a free preventive service in the first eight months of 2012.
"I am committed to strengthening Medicare for the seniors who rely on it today and protecting it for the future, and the Affordable Care Act advances both of those goals," said Congressman Tim Bishop. "Medicare is the bedrock of retirement security in America and I will continue fighting to preserve this critical program and lower health care costs for seniors and others."
According to the Medicare Trustees, the Affordable Care Act's reforms to ensure Medicare is paying for coverage in a sustainable way will preserve the solvency of the program's Trust Fund until at least 2024. Previously, the Trustees estimated that the Trust Fund would be depleted in 2017.