Presidential and Congressional candidates are relatively quiet about their future plans for Medicare, but the 2010 Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) remains a target for repeal. No matter what candidates aren’t saying about Medicare, a total repeal of the Affordable Care Act would have costly consequences for older voters. Ending the 2010 health law would also end Medicare Part D discounts in the “doughnut hole” coverage gap, putting beneficiaries back on the hook for 100% of the cost of their drugs, until they have spent the out-of-pocket threshold to qualify for catastrophic coverage. At today’s prices that would potentially mean disastrously higher drug spending.
In addition, a total repeal of the Affordable Care Act would also end a new Medicare tax that people earning $125,000 and up pay. That would erode the solvency of the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund (Part A). Prior to passage of the health law, the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund was forecast to run low on funds by 2017, according to the 2010 Medicare Trustees report. Now, with the higher tax on higher earners, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the Part A Trust Fund will remain solvent another 9 years or so until 2025.
TSCL believes that a total repeal of the Affordable Care Act would have a major financial impact on people 65 and older as well as people not yet old enough to have Medicare. TSCL is working for legislation like the Prescription Drug Affordability Act and the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Notification Act. Recently, more than 2000 TSCL members signed petitions to demand action from Congress. Please help tell Congress to take action to lower the price of prescription drugs.
Sources: 2010 Medicare Trustees Report, August 5, 2010. 2015 Medicare Trustees Report, July 22, 2015.