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Get the correct facts on Medicare and ACA

October 28, 2012
The Alpena News

I'm so sick of these political flyers from the Republican party scaring seniors into thinking the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is going to destroy Medicare. The ACA in fact prohibits cuts to guaranteed Medicare benefits. The $700 billion that's supposedly being raided from Medicare is the savings that will come from reining in unreasonable payments to providers, cracking down on fraud and waste, taxing high premium plans (starting in 2018) and encouraging patient centered coordinated care. The savings will close the prescription doughnut hole, pay for free preventative care and wellness exams and numerous screenings and vaccines free of charge. It does not eliminate Medicare Advantage plans, and the plans are still required to provide at least the same benefits as those available through traditional Medicare plans. These measures actually strengthen Medicare's fiscal viability. Before the ACA was passed Medicare's hospital insurance fund was projected to go bankrupt by 2017, that date is now pushed back to 2024.

As for part B premiums, those are determined by a formula designed decades ago by Congress, and the new law did not change this. There is no truth to the rumor that part B premiums will rise from $99 a month to $247 a month by 2014. Health care under the ACA will not be government run. The law builds on the private insurance system. 50 percent of people will get their insurance thru their employer and those that buy their own will still buy private health care plans. You choose the plan you want. Medicare beneficiaries will continue to have Medicare and there is no requirement that they get additional coverage.

Check out the Oct-Nov. issue of AARP- Medicare Myths: Get the facts or go to aarp.org/getthefacts and aarp.org/healthcareguide.

KATHLEEN BILLINGS

Rogers City

 
 

 

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