My mother and grandmother are currently on Medicare, so I understand just how important it is to her and our family that this program remains viable. 

For decades, hard-working Americans have been paying into Medicare with the promise that the program will provide the benefits they need in the future.  With a maturing population, rising health care costs and fewer workers supporting each retiree, Medicare’s future sustainability has come into question, leading experts to believe the program will be bankrupt by 2030.

Think of it this way:  The average couple turning 65 today has paid about $109,000 into Medicare over their lifetime, but they will receive over $343,000 in benefits.  Unfortunately, it’s just not sustainable for the long-term.

We must strengthen Medicare today to guarantee it is there when you need it. 

First and foremost, I believe any effort to strengthen Medicare should avoid making changes to benefits for those at or near retirement.  You’ve planned for the system to work in a certain way and it’s unfair to change that system on you. 

For future retires, however, we need to take greater steps to ensure Medicare is there for you when you retire. I have supported a plan that would allow younger workers, when they become eligible for Medicare, to receive a premium-support payment and a list of guaranteed coverage options – including traditional Medicare – from which recipients can choose a plan that best suits their needs. This plan would provide more support to low-income folks and the very sick, while providing less support to wealthier individuals. And again, this plan would make no changes to Medicare for those in or near retirement.

The president’s health care law also included several provisions that further impact Medicare recipients, including cuts to Medicare Advantage and the controversial Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) – a program that would empower 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats to make decisions about your health care.  I continue to support full repeal of the IPAB. 

Further Reading

Noem, Schakowsky Introduce Bill to Increase Mental Health Access for Medicare Recipients, February 16, 2017

Noem Lays Out Case for Greater Access to Mental Healthcare for Seniors, June 8, 2016

Noem, Pascrell Introduce Legislation Aimed at Improving Medication Adherence for Seniors, December 18, 2015

Noem Votes to Strengthen Medicare with House Passage of Permanent "Doc Fix", March 26, 2015

Noem, Cramer, Zinke Offer Bill to Preserve Access to Rural Health Care, March 25, 2015

Noem Earns Seat on Powerful Ways & Means Committee, January 7, 2015

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