Some politicians, in the summer of 2010, told seniors that The Affordable Care Act would (a) slash Medicare by $500 billion and (b) implement death panels. Some politicians are continuing these claims during the Presidential campaign. Neither of these claims are correct. If you are conservative, you can be angry at me for saying that. But it is the truth and after all, isn’t the truth what is really important?
The truth is, the “Affordable Care Act” or ACA, contains roughly 165 provisions affecting the Medicare program by reducing costs, increasing revenues, improving certain benefits, combating fraud and abuse, and initiating a major program of research and development to identify alternative provider payment mechanisms, health care delivery systems, and other changes intended to improve the quality of health care and reduce its costs to Medicares. Some things are obvious; others, not quite so obvious.
Here are just a few things the Affordable Care Act has done/is doing and will do for Medicare that is obvious to seniors as they use Medicare.
1. It provides no cost preventive health screenings to senior citizens through Medicare — so health problems can be caught in the early stages and preclude the need for more expensive health treatment later.
2. It provides vaccinations at no cost, to seniors through Medicare.
2. It closes the “donut” hole in Part D Medicare by 2020.
3. Seniors now only pay 25% of the total cost of prescription drugs under Part D.
4. It provides for a Long Term Care Facility comparison website, so seniors can check the quality of a nursing home prior to entering or a family can check if they have questions.
But there are also a number of others things that the law does for Medicare that are no so apparent. Things that are being done on an organizational level that are good for Seniors.
1. For those seniors living in nursing home on Medicaid, it increases the coordination between Medicare and Medicaid so that the senior (and or the seniors families and friends) has less paperwork to deal with; less frustration.
2. The law provides that those health care providers who are evaluated both subjectively and objectively, as providing the best care will receive higher payments — thereby enhancing the quality of care for seniors on Medicare.
3. The Affordable Care Act ends the additional 14% subsidy that private insurers offering Medicare Advantage required to be competitive with original Medicare. The law then returns those savings to original Medicare. The ACA is does NOT END Medicare Advantage, it simply took away the 14% in additional taxpayer subsidies that private insurers wanted and then returns those funds BACK INTO to original Medicare. Increasing Medicare’s solvency.
4. The ACA adds to Medicare trust fund by requiring those Americans making more than $200,000 a year, to increase their contribution to the fund by .9% — thereby increasing Medicare’s solvency.
5. The ACA adds to Medicare trust fund by requiring those Americans making more than $200,000 a year off non-wage income, to pay a 3.8% into the Medicare fund, thereby increasing Medicare’s solvency.
6, ACA adds funds to the Medicare Fraud Investigation Programs. This far, the program has been successful. Recovered funds have been returned to Medicare adding to its solvency.
7. Because Nursing home care is so costly, the ACA funds projects to see how seniors can be kept in their homes for as long a it possible.
8. IPAB The ACA provides for an independent advisory board, made up of 15 members of physicians, nurses, health care providers, etc Appointed by the President and ratified by congress, this Board is charged with controlling the costs of health care without diminishing the coverage or quality of care. This Board will increase the solvency of Medicare by cutting out waste and usury charges.
For an easy and quick way to see what is in the Affordable Care Act for yourself, CLICK HERE