FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2012
Kaine for Virginia Press Office
STUDY: ALLEN'S HEALTH CARE AGENDA = HIGHER COSTS FOR CURRENT VA SENIORS
Richmond, VA – As George Allen continues to insist his plan to reduce health care benefits and his praise for the Ryan plan wouldn’t mean higher costs for Virginia seniors – independent analysis says otherwise. Today, The Washington Post reported that the two main planks of Allen’s health care agenda would raise costs on today’s seniors by hundreds of dollars.
So what did the Post have to say about the effects of Allen’s new plan to push more costs onto seniors? Here are his two proposals for health care:
(1) “Repeal Obamacare” [Allen Blueprint for America’s Comeback]: The Washington Post reports that the result of repealing the Affordable Care Act would mean three immediate impacts for current seniors. Higher Medicare premiums, higher costs for wellness visits, and higher prescription drug prices. Since the law was enacted, Virginians on Medicare have saved more than $83 million on prescription drugs.
- “Repealing the health law would mean higher Medicare premiums, the Kaiser Family Foundation found in a recent analysis.Wellness visits and prescription drugs also would cost more.”
- “Health and Human Services estimates that Medicare beneficiaries paid $94 less out-of-pocket for hospital and doctor coverage this year than they would have without the health-care law.”
- “The health-care law…gradually eliminates the doughnut hole over the course of a decade. This saved seniors who fell in the doughnut hole an average of $643, according to Health and Human Services analysis.”
(2) “Transforming Medicaid into a block grant run by the State” [Allen Blueprint for America’s Comeback]: Turning Medicaid into a block grant program as Romney and Allen have proposed would mean a huge impact and reduction in benefits for low-income seniors. More than 82,000 Virginia seniors receive Medicaid coverage.
- “The impact could be greatest for the lowest-income seniors, who qualify for both the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and there could be a significant slowdown in federal funds available for their care.”
- “That’s where the risk to the population comes in,” said Gail Wilensky, a former Medicare director under President George W. Bush. “If too much money is withdrawn from Medicaid, unless you think massive efficiencies are achievable, that’s a place where seniors could be vulnerable.”
During Allen’s six-year term in the Senate, 8.6 million more Americans became uninsured and premiums increased by 78 percent. As he runs for re-election, he calls for more of the same:
1) Repeal progress and refight old political battles instead of making forward-looking improvements
2) Pursue policies that push costs onto seniors who have paid into these programs for years.
Virginia seniors and future retirees can't afford another six years of Allen's cost-shifting agenda for Medicare and Medicaid.