Congressman Charles B. Rangel touted President Obama's Affordable Care Act for saving seniors money after Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that 5.8 million people with Medicare had saved more than $5 billion dollars on prescription drugs.
"These savings offer yet more proof that The Affordable Care Act is working," said Rangel, the sponsor of the Affordable Care Act. "Millions of our nation's seniors are benefiting from this historic law and it will continue to save them money."
The Affordable Care Act is gradually closing the gap in prescription drug benefits for Medicare recipients. This gap is known as the "donut hole." During the first ten months of 2012, 2.8 million individuals have saved $677 on average on prescription drugs. During the same period, around 23.4 million people with the original Medicare or Medicare Advantage were able to receive one or more preventive service at no cost. In addition, more than 32.5 million people were able to receive at least one free preventative care benefit since 2011.In New York, Medicare recipients have saved around $364.7 million on prescription drugs. During the first ten months of 2012, nearly 180,000 seniors have saved an average of $714 on prescription drugs. During the same period, about 1.4 million New Yorkers with original Medicare received one or more preventative healthcare services at no cost.
"The Affordable Care Act allows people to live healthier lives and focus on prevention of illnesses," Rangel continued. "President Obama's reelection means we can focus on fully implementing this law so that future generations can receive these same benefits."
In 2013, the healthcare law will provide Medicare recipients in the donut hole even greater savings. Discounts are projected to rise to 53 percent of the cost of brand name drugs and 21 percent of the cost of generic drugs. These savings on prescription drugs will gradually increase until the donut hole closes in 2020.