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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Medicare for Today’s Seniors

Andrea Callow

Associate Director of Medicaid Initiatives

Do you have an extra $11,000 to spend on health care during retirement? What about $60,000? Or $331,000? You don’t? Me neither! However, that’s exactly what Governor Romney and Rep. Ryan are asking of us with their Medicare plan.

 According to a report that was recently released by the Center for American Progress, the Romney-Ryan Medicare plan will substantially raise health care costs for older Americans on Medicare, both now and in the future. The study, which analyzes data from the Congressional Budget Office and academic research studies, shows rapidly escalating health care costs for seniors. These increased costs stem from the Republican presidential candidate’s promises to repeal Medicare improvements in the Affordable Care Act, to drastically cut Medicaid, and to radically redesign the Medicare program into a voucher system.

The numbers are staggering. By repealing Obamacare, as Romney has promised to do if elected, today’s seniors would pay an extra $11,000 in increased drug costs and Medicare premiums. For those who qualify for Medicare after 2022, the picture is even bleaker. For Americans who become eligible for Medicare in 2023, the Romney-Ryan plan will add nearly $60,000 onto health care costs in retirement. If you become eligible for Medicare in 2050, you can expect an additional $331,000 in health care costs.

Medicare is one of our nation’s most successful health insurance programs. It represents a promise to all Americans that they will be rewarded for their hard work with affordable, reliable insurance in retirement. The Romney-Ryan Medicare plan breaks this promise to seniors today and for generations to come.