Snap-O Fact #93
President Obama Strengthens Medicare While The Right Wing Pushes False Attacks!
The Affordable Care Act made several changes to Medicare (which makes up 12 percent of the federal budget). In a few cases, the law actually increased Medicare spending to provide more benefits and coverage, that according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a trusted independent source that analyzes the health care system. The Act makes preventive care free and closes the "doughnut hole," a current gap in prescription drug coverage for seniors.
Other provisions are designed to reduce future growth in Medicare spending, to encourage the program to operate more efficiently and to improve the delivery and quality of care, in ways including reducing hospital re-admissions. The bill doesn't take money out of the current Medicare budget but, rather, attempts to slow the program's future growth, curtailing just over $500 billion in anticipated spending increases over the next 10 years. Without additional reform Medicare spending will still increase, however. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects Medicare spending will reach $929 billion in 2020, up from $499 billion in actual spending in 2009.
Whatever it's called, the fact is that the "cut" is a $500 billion reduction in the growth of future spending over 10 years. It is not a slashing of the current Medicare budget or benefits. It's true that those who get their coverage through Medicare Advantage's private plans (about 22 percent of Medicare enrollees) would see fewer add-on benefits; the bill aims to reduce the heftier payments made by the government to Medicare Advantage plans, compared with regular fee-for-service Medicare.