Do you have questions about your vision health? Our Eye Center has answers.
by Rep. Eric Cantor, July 1, 2010
Since the passage of the health care law, a number of questions have arisen. Although I did not support it, the law is truly transformational. For that reason, it is important that the information available tells a complete picture of what it will mean for you, your family and our country. Three important facts:
Costs Go Up, Not Down
Under the new law, costs will approach $1 trillion over the next 10 years. Since the president signed the law, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has reported that it will cost an extra $115 billion to implement—money not in its original estimate. A former CBO director warns that the new law will likely “raise, not lower, federal deficits, by $554 billion in the first 10 years.” After it was passed, we further learned from the administration’s own actuaries that it will increase, not decrease, overall health care spending. Finally, by cutting some costs, the law does extend the solvency of Medicare. However, the savings from these cuts are not put back into the Medicare program, and instead the money is used for new programs not related to seniors.
Medicare Services Are Not “Guaranteed”
The May AARP Bulletin reported that the bill includes “$390 billion in savings from Medicare over 10 years, with basic benefits protected.” The government’s official actuaries report that it cuts $575 billion from Medicare. More troublesome, they report that as a result, “[providers] might end their participation in the program (possibly jeopardizing access to care for beneficiaries).” The actuaries predict that cuts to this program will force out of Medicare Advantage half of the seniors currently enjoying it. Congress can pass laws that contain feel-good phrases like “guaranteed benefits,” but if doctors and other providers no longer participate in the program, the words are meaningless.
You May Lose Access to Your Doctor of Choice
Don’t just take my word for it: I encourage you to ask your doctors whether Medicare reimbursements are fair. Ask them about the government establishing payment policies that restrict how they can treat you and what medicines they can prescribe. Even the American Medical Association acknowledges that without significant changes to Medicare payments, many doctors will no longer participate in the program. Notably, the changes advocated by doctors’ groups were not included in the new health law.
The problem with 2,000-page bills that completely overhaul our health care system is the many unintended consequences. Many of them will negatively impact seniors, small-business people, doctors and other medical professionals and the economic future of our country. Considering the impact that this law will have on seniors, it’s important for you and your family to have access to accurate information.
Eric Cantor, R-Va., is the Republican whip of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Visit the AARP state page for information about events, news and resources near you.
WW will help you build a customized weight loss plan
25% off the first healthy meal delivery of $99+.
Give or get help during the Coronavirus pandemic
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at