Medicare, Why Seniors Should CareJan 5th, 2017 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Moments Blog
Proposed Medicare Changes
AARP Bulletin, once again, brings Medicare issues to the forefront and reminds senior citizens everywhere why the issues matter to us. Medicare has been senior-friendly and has clearly not catered to the health insurance industry, nor to the medical community. The Republicans now in control in Congress, and shortly in the White House, propose to change that, and the change is likely to result in health care insurance that benefits the industry first.
The plan proposed by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) would potentially change the entire Medicare program, replacing it with a fixed-dollar subsidy that seniors would use to buy private health insurance. In other words, seniors would be back in pre-Medicare days, wherein we had to buy our own health insurance on the private market. We would get a ‘subsidy’ specified by Congress, and that amount may or may not cover the health care program we want or that we have had under Medicare. This is what is meant by ‘privatizing’ Medicare.
During his campaign, Trump promised to protect Medicare (and Social Security). Seniors must remain vigilant and watch to see if he backs away from his campaign promise in the face of Congress members insistence on revamping the entire program.
Who Loses in the GOP Proposal?
The health industry continues to increase premium costs. This is why some insurance companies chose to opt out of ObamaCare in 2016. They were simply not willing to live with consumer-friendly requirements that bit into their profits. Ryan’s plan, “…would erode much-needed coverage and shift costs to many who live on fixed incomes and continue to struggle in the shadow of the Great Recession.” AARP Bulletin, January-February 2017
A full repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) would eliminate all the Medicare benefits created by the law, including free preventive services (flu shots and screenings for cancer and diabetes), savings on prescription drugs and the future of Medicare with a slow-down of spending, fraud, waste and excessive payments.
Seniors can get a copy of the full AARP report here. You can both read it and then share it with friends and family. SeniorCitizenJournal.com will devote the next set of articles to this issue in an attempt to explain and clarify what we seniors potentially are facing with the proposed changes. The importance of understanding what could happen to seniors’ health insurance cannot be overstated.