Legislative Report

Legislative Report…Daniel Nnorth and Claudia Schott
It looks like Medicare is on everyone’s mind, including President Trump’s and Senator Paul Ryan’s. This may not be a good thing. Because Medicare has benefitted from ObamaCare, and the President and the good Senator as well as most of the GOP congress are thinking to repeal it, Medicare may be irreparably damaged. This is according to the latest article from AARP.  Senator Ryan wishes to overhaul and modernize Medicare by turning it into a “defined contribution” program. This would mean that we, the beneficiaries, would get a set amount with which to buy our own private sector insurance. Also, the Senator wishes to raise the eligibility age to 67. He also states that these reforms would not affect those of us who are in or near retirement, just the younger generations….. Just how near retirement do we need to be to NOT be affected, Senator? Read more here:   http:// www.aarp.org/politics-society/advocacy/info-2016/why-medicare-matters-special-report.html?intcmp=AE-POLADVO-EOA

AARP has countered with their stance on Medicare: “While fighting to protect and defend Medicare for current and near-term beneficiaries, we must also improve it for future generations while continuing its guaranteed benefits. We will work to find sensible solutions that improve care, reduce costs and create real savings for taxpayers without cutting benefits or access to care. These include: reducing prescription drug costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices and improving access to lower-cost biologic drugs; improving care coordination; cracking down on waste and fraud; and eliminating inefficient payment systems, uncoordinated care, mistakes, duplication and unnecessary paperwork.” (The underlining is my doing. I am so glad we have AARP on our side!) “We will also fight to protect the key provisions of health care reform that you have told us are important to you and your families:

  • Eliminating discrimination by insurance companies due to preexisting conditions.
  • Restricting discrimination by insurance companies based on age and gender.
  • Closing the “doughnut hole” to make prescription drugs more affordable under Medicare. 
  • Keeping children on their parents’ policies to the age of 26. 
  • Expanding preventive services. 
  • Protecting Medicaid’s critical long-term services and supports that help our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, including older adults and disabled children, continue to live in their homes and communities.

Read more here: http://www.aarp.org/politics-society/advocacy/info-2016/we-will-fight-for-medicare-jenkins.html.  Of course, AARP can’t do it alone. That’s what its members are for! This is our call to action! We need to raise our voices to ensure that all Americans continue to receive the health care that they have earned, that they need and that they deserve. Our call to action is here:  President-Elect Trump: Tell Congress that Medicare cuts are unacceptable!  aarp.org/nocuts.