WHAT HAVE YOU GOT TO LOSE?
So what can YOU do
to save Medicare,
Medicaid and Social
Become Politically active and
• Save Medicare and Social Security.
• Stop cuts to Medicaid
• Improve, not repeal, the Affordable
• Mandate Individual Health Care. We
are mandated to have car insurance
but not mandated to have personal
• Save the Children’s Health Insurance
Add to this list as you dialogue with
family, friends and elected officials.
BY FELICE HANNAH
Let’s review the gains made in Federal
Health Care Coverage since President
Teddy Roosevelt in 1912 ran on a platform
for a National Health System.
In 1945 President Harry Truman envisioned
national health coverage for all Americans.
President Lyndon Johnson signed into law
Title XV11 The Social Security Act (HR 6675)
Health Insurance for the Aged and Disabled.
This law would provide health coverage for those
65 and over. President Truman became the first
President Richard M. Nixon expanded the
law in 1972 to include persons under 65 with a
It wasn’t until 2003 that another major change
was made to Medicare. President George W. Bush
signed into law the Medicare Modernization
Act (MMA) of 2003 (Public Law 108-173) This
law expanded private sector participation in
health care coverage to include the Medicare
Prescription Drug Plan (Part D). The MMA ended
subsidized prescription drug discount cards.
Private prescription drug insurance companies
determine prescription drug costs and establish
drug restrictions. Restrictions include formulary
coverage. If a drug is not on the plan’s formulary
(covered) the Medicare beneficiary will pay
100% of the cost of the prescription drug.
President Barack Obama made comprehensive
changes in Medicare and health care when
he signed into law The Affordable Care and
Patient Protection Rights Act of 2010. The law,
known as Obamacare, officially The Affordable
Care and Patient Protection Rights Act, makes
health care affordable and accessible to all. It
limits unnecessary costs thus increasing revenue
by encouraging hospitals to ‘bundle’ costs and
rewarding doctors and hospitals for quality (not
quantity) of care.
The Affordable Care and Patient Protection
Rights Act Improved and streamlined services
to Medicare beneficiaries through Integrated
Key features of The Affordable Care and
Patient Protection Rights Act include:
• Affordable Health Insurance through the
Market Place Exchange with subsidized help
through Medicaid for low income beneficiaries
• Ended denial of coverage based on pre-existing
conditions for children and adults
• Adults age 26 or under can remain on their
parents’ health coverage
• Ended lifetime limits for coverage and arbitrary
cancellation of insurance by insurers
• Preventive health care at no cost to
• Created the Community Care Transition
and Community Health Care programs that
allow seniors and the disabled to remain in
their homes receiving medically necessary
• Created relief in the ‘doughnut hole’ through
• Mandated enrollment in the Affordable Health
Insurance Market Place
Now 105 years after President Teddy Roosevelt
envisioned a National Health Insurance
System—Medicare—the only government single
payer plan for Americans may end.
Plans to phase out Medicare, reform Social
Security and end the Affordable Care and Patient
Protection Rights Act will leave the most vulnerable—
seniors, children, persons with pre-existing
conditions and the disabled—without health
Let’s analyze catch words such as reform
and phase out. To phase out Medicare means
to end Medicare and privatize health care.
Reforming Social Security means to privatize
February MEDICARE IS NOT GOING BROKE.
In truth, The Affordable Care and Patient
Protection Rights Act put into place certain cost
guidelines to increase the solvency of Medicare.
¢Among these are hospitals and doctors under the
COURIER Affordable Care and Patient Protection Rights Act
are encouraged to bundle payments and submit
one claim for services. For example, a hospital
surgical team would submit one claim from the
TOWERS surgical team. No longer are hospitals or doctors
rewarded for quantity of care, but quality of care.
The Affordable Care Act Individual Health
Mandate has been repealed and Medicaid to
SHORE subsidize the costs has been cut. Repealing
ending Medicaid? These are amongst the many
the Individual mandate will probably increase
questions going unanswered as the new President,
Insurance Premiums since healthier persons may
Congress and House move to end Individual Health
NORTH choose to not enroll. Private insurance companies
Mandate, Medicare and privatize Social Security.
covering less enrollees and more persons requiring
So what is the answer to ‘what have you got to
extensive health coverage will increase Premium
lose’? The answer: all the gains made in health
20 costs and/or combine with other companies
coverage, Medicare and Social Security since 1912. creating less choices in selecting an Insurance
Provider. What happens to persons receiving health
coverage through the Health Exchange Program
when they lose their Medicaid low income subsidy
to pay for insurance? Without Medicaid subsidy
many individuals will not be able to afford health
What are the protections for limited income
beneficiaries who cannot afford out of pocket
costs? Hospital emergency rooms will become
their providers. What happens to the disabled who
have Medicare due to End Term Renal Disease,
Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS) and long term disabilities?
What’s next in the proposed ‘reform’