For the past few months, the super committee has been working to find agreement about how to further reduce the deficit. The goal of the bipartisan 12-member committee was to develop a plan to cut the deficit by an additional $1.2 trillion to $1.5 trillion (on top of an already agreed to cut of $900 billion) over the next 10 years. The super committee was allowed to consider any methods of reducing the deficit, including cutting vital programs like Medicaid and Medicare.
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For Medicare beneficiaries, there was a host of good news from the federal government last week.
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), premiums for prescription drug coverage will not rise in 2012, more seniors are now receiving preventive care thanks to the Affordable Care Act, and beneficiaries who have reached the doughnut hole are receiving a 50% discount on prescription drugs.
Q: I supported health care reform and was so elated when it passed, however...Now I hear of cuts in payments to doctors for Medicare. Many doctors refuse Medicare patients already, but with more cuts there will be no medical care for seniors. Supplement plans won't cover anything that Medicare doesn't cover, or doctors that don't take Medicare. Health insurance for seniors is a near impossibility. So does health care reform mean health care on the back of seniors?
Did you know that if you have Medicare, you are now entitled to many preventive screenings and yearly wellness visits with your doctor at no cost to you? That's right. Medicare beneficiaries can now get free screenings for conditions such as cancer and diabetes, as well as free annual check-ups, all thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
These preventive services are designed to ensure early diagnosis and treatment for many chronic conditions, which will improve the health of many Americans and also save money. It's a win-win situation for Medicare beneficiaries.
Health reform has failed to be the “Armageddon” that conservatives predicted, and not a single “death panel” has appeared. Since the passage of health reform, we’ve seen that not only have these predictions not come true, but things are looking better than ever for grandma and her friends.
This past August, my husband, Don, brought home bad news—the company he worked for was closing. We would have to rethink our plans for health care coverage.
We had a similar conversation last year when Don was considering retiring early because the social security checks would actually be more than his income at the call center. By that time, I had been on Medicare for a few years, but I was still relying on Don’s company to cover my prescription costs. So I rushed to sign up for a Medicare plan during the open enrollment period last year.
I don’t know about you, but it seems like yesterday that Sarah Palin was speaking into every microphone she could find lamenting that health reform would lead to President Obama personally pulling the plug on your grandma.
Well, you’ll be happy to know that it’s been exactly one year since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law by President Obama and not one beloved grandmother has been subjected to a death panel.
Hundreds of thousands of older Americans breathed a sigh of relief this year, and millions more will in the next few years. The “doughnut hole,” a gap in Medicare coverage of prescription drugs, has caused so many older Americans pain. But now, it is finally closing, thanks to health reform and the Affordable Care Act.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) made his views on the recently released House budget resolution clear on Fox News Sunday when he said, “We are in a situation where we have a safety net in place in this country for people who frankly don’t need one.”