Seniors: Health Care Reform FACTS Regarding Medicare

May 2nd, 2010 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Social Security & Medicare

Senior citizens continue to be interested in and concerned about the new health care law that impacts those of us with Medicare as well as every other citizen in the country.  Now that some of the health care reform hype and hysteria has calmed down, let’s take a look at the FACTS regarding the bill that is now law.

  1. Thirty-two million uninsured people will now have health care coverage.  These people generally have never had health care coverage, and they will now have access to the same level of health care as those of us who have enjoyed good medical care.
  2. The Medicare doughnut hole for prescription drugs will slowly close over the next 10 years.  That hole is the out-of-pocket money that seniors have to pay between the first and third levels of coverage in Medicare Part D.
  3. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects this legislation will cut the federal deficit by $143 billion by 2019.
  4. Medicare coverage is expanded to include annual preventive checkups.
  5. Coverage cannot be denied for pre-existing conditions.
  6. Coverage cannot be canceled if/when you get sick.
  7. Those with current employer-sponsored coverage will be able to keep their coverage.
  8. Those paying for their own insurance and the uninsured will have the option of private coverage.

In addition, many of us senior citizens are wondering how the new PPACA will affect me personally.  This month’s AARP Bulletin has a great article on just that topic, How the New Health Care Reform Act will Affect YOU! We recommend this article to all SCJ readers.

There is clearly more that needs to be said about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the subsequent Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.  However, an understanding of the FACTS of the legislation is a good place to begin.  Health care reform is a critically important issue in the United States.  It is a sad reflection on our senators and representatives that they were unable (unwilling?) to find good compromises and come together to create legislation that is long overdue.

Does anyone really question the value and importance of the eight facts listed above?  SCJ thinks not.



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