Congress failed to fix Medicare, according to senior advocates

The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM) says Congress’ failed physicians and seniors in its latest Medicare payment formula.

“The Senate ‘Doc Fix’ vote has traded one bad policy for another…shifting the costs of Congress’ failed Medicare payment formula for physicians to seniors who can least afford to foot that bill,” said Max Richtman, NCPSSM president. “Contrary to claims by supporters, on both sides of the aisle, this ‘doc fix’ will hit millions of seniors who aren’t ‘wealthy’ by any stretch of the imagination.”

“Seniors at all income levels who are already paying steep premiums for Medigap plans to help control their health care costs will now be hit with even higher costs,” said Richtman. “Forty-six percent of all Medigap policy holders have incomes of $30,000 or less.”

Added to that, Richtman believes Medicare beneficiaries will also be forced to contribute nearly $60 billion in premiums over the next decade thanks to passage of this so-called ‘fix.’

“It’s no surprise that conservatives applaud this legislation as ‘the first real entitlement reform in two decades’ because it fulfills their political goal of shifting costs to seniors, cutting benefits and expanding means-testing to push Medicare further and further away from being the earned benefit seniors have long valued and depended on,” said Richtman.

“Trading a bad deal for doctors for a bad deal for seniors is not a legislative victory and it is a surprising move from so many in Congress who have previously vowed to protect Medicare from harmful benefit cuts and seniors from cost-shifting,” said Richtman.

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