Prescription Medicine News and Information
USA continues to fight to help keep the cost of prescription drugs low and to promote quality generic drugs.
Aliance for Retired Americans: Medicare Fact Sheet: What's at Stake in 2012?
Kaiser Family Foundation:
Comparison of Medicare Provisions in Deficit and Debt Reduction Proposals.
Center for American Progress Issue Paper:
What's Driving Up the Cost of Medicare?
Kaiser Family Foundation:
Key Changes to the Medicare Part D Drug Benefit Coverage Gap in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Archived Medicare discussions
The Medicare Reform debate contiunes. Follow this link to help you get the facts to a statment from the National Council on Aging, April 2012: " 5 Key Facts Must Inform the Medicare Reform Debate"
Medicare Premium Support Proposals
The Kaiser Family Foundation report is a side-by-side comparison of the five Medicare Premium Support Proposals that are currently being considered by congress and how they compare with current Medicare including changes enacted in the Affordable Care Act.
USA supports a full and expanded Medicare program that uses the efficiencies of this federal insurance program to lower the costs of medical care for everyone. As we see the various proposals that are currently being discussed, we must keep alert and act quickly to support those proposals that will insure health care for all in an effective and efficient system of care. On the left and below you will find a listing of links discussing this issue.
Medicare and the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
The biggest improvement for seniors in the Affordable Care Act is to Medicare drug coverage. The law phases out the doughnut hole—the gap in the Medicare drug benefit when consumers have to pay full price for their medicines and their premiums—by 2020.
Read more on this topic at The Medicare Rights Center: Health Reform and Medicare . The information at this web site will answer many of your questions on Health Reform and how it will affect your Medicare benefits, including how the doughnut hole will be filled. Here are direct links to several articles:
Health Reform and Medicare: The Doughnut Hole in 2012
Health Reform and Medicare: Closing the Doughnut Hole
Health Reform and Medicare: A Timeline of Implementation
Questions and Answers on Medicare and Health Reform
Comments on Functions, Eligibility and Standards of Health Insurance Exchanges
Medicare Advantage Plans: Whose Advantage?
Since its creation in 1965, Medicare has been a lifesaver for millions of seniors and people with disabilities. And it has improved the lives of millions more.
In 2003, Congress passed legislation to begin a Medicare death spiral. Under Medicare Part C, insurance companies get bonuses to sell so-called “Advantage” plans. These plans promise to hold down costs while providing extra benefits. The reality is often the opposite. Advantage plans funnel billions of Medicare dollars to insurance companies to “cherry pick” those they want to lure from traditional Medicare. The result will be that Medicare retains only its highest risk, most costly, participants.
The government also pays insurance companies an average of 9% more for each new customer sold a private plan outside of original Medicare than it spends on traditional Medicare beneficiaries. In some states, the average overpayment is as high as 41%.
The extra dollars encourage confusion, misrepresentation, and fraud. It also drains the already threatened Medicare trust fund and raises premiums for those who choose to remain in original Medicare. The winners are the insurance companies who get billions in government handouts to rip off seniors and dismantle Medicare.
Read the Center for Medicare Advocacy's proposed six solutions for Medcare solvency and reducing the debt. Solution two: Stop Paying Private Medicare Plans Anything More Than Traditional Medicare
Update: The Affordable Care Act addresses the problem of "Advantage Plans" and their increased costs to the taxpayer and often to the beneficiary in the form of increased co-payments. The ACA requires that the costs of Advantage Plans come in line with the costs of regular Medicare. United Senior Action will continue to follow this issue and keep you updated.