GLEN ARM, MD — U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) today told members of the Glen Meadows Retirement Community that the new health care reform law contains important new benefits to help them and that a repeal of the Affordable Care Act ” would increase their health care costs, harm the solvency of the Medicare program and increase the federal budget deficit by $230 billion in 10 years.”
Starting January 1, seniors who fall in the Medicare Part D prescription drug gap or “donut hole,” will receive a 50% discount on all brand-name medicines. Also starting on Jan. 1, the new law eliminates all co-payments for Medicare preventive services and it provides for free annual wellness checkups for seniors with no co-pays or deductibles.
“There has been a lot of misinformation circulated about the new law and I am here to set the record straight,” said Senator Cardin. “Seniors are the biggest users of our health care system and this law will reduce their health care costs and greatly improve the solvency of Medicare. In addition, it contains important consumer protections to help all American families, including prohibiting insurance companies from dropping coverage when people get sick, blocking coverage due to so-called pre-existing conditions, ending lifetime limits on coverage and allowing children to stay on their parents’ health care plans until age 26.”
Senator Cardin also pointed out that additional benefits will become available through the new law in the next several years. These benefits include the establishment of a voluntary long-term care insurance program in 2012, and, in 2014, the creation a pathway for the approval of generic biologic drugs to lower the cost of medications, promotion of better care after hospital discharge, development of better reporting about quality of health care services and the use of provider payments to reward high-quality, efficient health care.
Senator Cardin also assured the seniors that the new law contains no reduction of Medicare benefits and does not cut payments to doctors.