Snap Fact #144

President Obama's Affordable Health Care Act Undoes Some Of The Disproportionate Burden Put On Seniors During The Bush Administration!
We have already visited 2 areas in the much maligned Affordable Health Care Act arena. Today we will learn what the Act does for seniors and Individuals with disabilities. Once you have finished reading this you will have the truth about the real benefits to older adults that the Affordable Health Care Act has put into the law. Among all of them, the last item on the list lays bare the lie of the heavily advertised Koch Brothers' myth that the Affordable Health Care Act will SHAVE $500 billion from the Medicare budget. Actually the Act will SAVE that amount by reducing fraud and unnecessary payments. No benefits will be reduced of eliminated.

ALREADY IN PLACE: 
1. Improvements to Medicare
The Affordable Health Care Act has made numerous improvements to Medicare to benefit older adults and individuals with disabilities. The Act has already reduced the cost of Part D medications for many enrollees, and will completely eliminate the Part D coverage gap (also known as the "donut hole") by 2020. The Act has also established free annual wellness visits for Medicare enrollees - more than 32 million Medicare enrollees benefited from free preventive care in 2011.

2. Improved access to home- and community- based services 
Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) allow individuals to receive supports in their home setting so that they are not forced into nursing homes or other institutions. The Affordable Health Care Act expands access to HCBS services by providing states with new options to start more HCBS programs and apply for increased funding for HCBS services.
3.  Better coordination for Medicare and Medicaid
The Affordable Health Care Act created a new Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office (MMCO), which will help improve coordination of benefits for the 9 million individuals who are enrolled in both programs. The MMCO is also developing projects that will combine both Medicare and Medicaid into one unified health benefit with additional requirements for care coordination and assistance for consumers..

COMING SOON:
4.  Health Care Homes
Older adults and persons with disabilities often have complex health care needs which involve a number of different medical providers and settings. The Affordable Health Care Act promotes a new team-based model where a central care management team will coordinate between these diverse providers and assist individuals in managing their own care. This model of care will be patient centered and has the potential to increase quality while reducing costs. 

5.  Protecting the future of Medicare
Some critics have suggested that the Affordable Health Care Act "cuts Medicare." This is false. The Act actually protects the future of Medicare by reducing wasteful spending. For example, the Affordable Health Care Act will save $500 billion by reducing Medicare fraud and abuse and reducing overpayments Medicare has made to private managed care plans. These cuts are not targeted at the benefits enrollees depend on. The next time you hear someone say that the Affordable Health Care Act cuts Medicare by $500 billion, you will know that in reality the Act saves Medicare money to ensure the program maintains all of its benefits.