Cutting Medicare to support parts of Obamacare won’t fix the problems



Rep. Doc Hastings

Since it was created in 1965, Medicare has provided important benefits - helping millions of seniors, including myself, live healthier lives.

Medicare has been updated several times since its creation in order to expand health care options for seniors who want more choices, while preserving the traditional Medicare program for those who prefer that option.

When signing up for Medicare, seniors now have more choices, such as signing up for voluntary prescription drug coverage or a Medicare Advantage plan through private insurers. Today, more than 35 million seniors have access to low cost prescription drugs through Medicare and one in two people who sign up for Medicare choose a Medicare Advantage plan over traditional Medicare.

Unfortunately, earlier this year, the Obama Administration issued policies to restructure the Medicare prescription drug program by limiting options and reducing competition in the program. Then, the Administration recently announced that Medicare Advantage will see a cut of $300 billion, or nearly 6 percent. That money will now be used to fund portions of the Obamacare law, instead of its intended purpose - to benefit our seniors.

These changes and cuts will result in reductions to seniors’ benefits and increased premiums. Even more concerning is that many seniors - especially those living in rural America - may lose access to Medicare Advantage altogether.

I am concerned with this Administration’s policies of limiting Medicare choices and increasing out-of-pocket costs. I recognize reforms are needed to ensure Medicare is available for our children and grandchildren, but cutting seniors’ health care in order to support Obamacare programs is like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Every day, concerns surrounding the implementation of Obamacare continue to grow and cutting Medicare to support parts of Obamacare is not going to fix the problems.

Recent reforms to Medicare work for our seniors and they should not be forced to shoulder the burden of any further funding cuts to the program. That is why I have joined my colleagues on a bipartisan letter to the Obama Administration expressing these serious concerns.

As a member of the Rural Health Care Coalition, I will continue to monitor the actions of this Administration and will communicate the importance of enacting common-sense reforms to make Medicare work better for our seniors, both now and in the future.

‑ U.S. Congressman Doc Hastings (R-Pasco) represents Central Washington’s Fourth Congressional District.


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cherrybobeddie 4 years, 2 months ago

what a partisan hypocrite. Doc, do I have to remind you that in March, 2012 you voted for the Ryan Budget Bill which would have replaced Medicare with a voucher system. Actuaries agree that it would not be enough to make up for the loss of medicare, but you voted for it Doc and now you put out this nonsense about Obama. "Every day, concerns surrounding the implementation of Obamacare continue to grow". No they don't, the only thing that continues to grow are the lies told by Republicans such as youself. Here us a link where people can inform themselves without having to rely on a two-faced member of a partisan Congress.">


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