OPEN ENROLLMENT: Open Enrollment for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D begins Monday, October 15. For more information, visit: http://www.medicare.gov/
Medicare has been a topic much in the news recently, and seniors I speak with just want to know what’s true. My grandmother is on Medicare, and my mother soon will be, so I understand how important it is to know the facts about this critically important program. This page provides information about the financial status of the Medicare program and the plan I support to save it.
Medicare is going broke.
- The Medicare hospital insurance (HI) trust fund, which pays for inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facility, hospice, and home health care, will be insolvent by 2024, according to the Medicare Trustee’s Annual Report released in April 2012.
- According to the report: “HI expenditures have exceeded income annually since 2008, and projected amounts continue doing so through the short-range period until the fund becomes exhausted in 2024.” (Medicare Trustee’s Annual Report, Page 6)
Without action, Congress would have to increase taxes, cut benefits for seniors, or both.
- According to Trustee Report data, if nothing is done, bringing the fund into actuarial balance would require an immediate 47 percent increase in the payroll tax or a 26 percent cut in Part A benefits.
I want to save Medicare from bankruptcy, protect its promise to seniors and ensure it is still around for generations to come – and I support a plan that will do just that. Here are the facts:
- The House Republican plan to save Medicare wouldn’t change anything for folks 55 or older.
- For younger workers, when they become eligible, Medicare will provide a premium-support payment and a list of guaranteed coverage options – including traditional Medicare – from which beneficiaries could choose a plan that best suits their needs.
- This plan provides more support to low-income folks and the very sick, while providing less support to wealthier individuals.
I am open to any idea to ensure we can save and strengthen this program. I encourage South Dakotans to contact my office at 202-225-2801 with questions, comments and ideas.