Forty-seven years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare into law—a law that now provides life-saving health care for nearly 50 million seniors and people with disabilities. In 2010, President Obama signed the health care reform law to strengthen Medicare coverage and ensure the program remains strong for future generations.
Here are five ways Obamacare strengthens Medicare:
- When seniors fall into the “doughnut hole,” they get a 50% discount on their prescription drugs. More than 5 million people already saved an average of $600 last year—and, come 2020, the doughnut hole will be closed for good.
- For the first time, Medicare now covers an annual wellness visit so seniors have the chance to sit down with their doctor and make a plan to stay healthy, rather than wait until they’re sick to see the doctor.
- Seniors now get free preventive care—like mammograms, colon cancer screenings, and flu shots. Last year, 33 million people with Medicare got a free service.
- Primary care providers across the country and surgeons that practice in areas that have a shortage of doctors now get bonus payments from Medicare, which helps make sure that everyone can get the care they need.
- The Affordable Care Act added 8 years to solvency of Medicare by cracking down on waste, fraud, and needless subsidies to insurance companies.
In contrast, Mitt Romney would end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher program. Experts have found that under a similar plan, in 2022, a typical 65-year-old senior would actually pay $6,400 more out of pocket than they would under the current system. When it comes to ensuring the economic security and health care of America’s seniors, the choice couldn’t be more clear.