Medicaid & Medicare

Overview HCAN’s Work More Resources


Medicare and Medicaid are bedrock programs that families rely on. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) protects and strengthens Medicare and Medicaid.Health Care Can't Wait

Millions of seniors have benefitted from the ACA’s Medicare improvements.

  • Help with drug costs: Nearly 4 million beneficiaries received a $250 check to help with drug costs in 2010. And in 2011, more than 2.2 million Medicare beneficiaries received a 50% reduction on brand-name drug costs to save more than $1.2 billion on prescriptions in 2011 – an average savings of $550 per person.
  • Free annual wellness visit and personalized prevention services. All Medicare enrollees can receive a free annual wellness visit and personalized prevention services, with no cost-sharing for preventive services such as tobacco cessation counseling and cancer screenings. By the end of 2011, nearly 20.5 million beneficiaries received their free annual wellness visit and other preventive services with absolutely no cost-sharing.
  • Aggressive new measures to stop fraud and abuse. Health reform included a number of provisions that strengthen Medicare and stamp out fraud and abuse, including enhanced oversight in areas with a high risk of fraud, more funding for anti-fraud measures and cooperation between state and federal agencies, and stiffer penalties for violators.
  • Download a Power Point presentation: Health Reform: Guaranteeing Medicare’s future while protecting older adults and people with disabilities

Medicaid will be expanded in 2014 to cover individuals with incomes below 133% of the federal poverty level (about $15,000 for an individual), replacing the current state eligibility patchwork. The federal government, and not the states, will bear the vast majority of the expense of covering the new population.  The benefits package will replicate benefits in the private market instead of traditional Medicaid benefits. In addition, all Medicaid beneficiaries will benefit from the increased availability of primary care services. In 2013 and 2014, primary care services will be paid at Medicare rates – traditionally higher than the states’ Medicaid rates – at full federal expense.

HCAN’s comments on the new Medicaid eligibility rules.

For more on the ACA’s impact on Medicaid, see here.

HCAN’s Work on Medicaid and Medicare

We organize at the grassroots around all of our priority issues in order to move policymakers and build public support. Our work on Capitol Hill is also key to our effort; please see below for examples of that work and relevant documents.

HCAN supports the ACA’s expanded Medicare and Medicaid benefits and is fighting-off efforts to take away these new benefits in repeal.

The Republican Extremist Budget Proposal – Ending Medicaid and Medicare as We Know Them

In 2011, the Republican House passed a budget crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).

This extremist plan would have:

  • Ended Medicare as we know it by replacing today’s guaranteed benefits with inadequate “vouchers” for care that go directly to private insurance companies.
  • Increased seniors’ out-of-pocket Medicare costs by $6,400 per year.
  • Cut $1.4 trillion from services to seniors, people with disabilities, and children in Medicaid by converting Medicaid into a block grant.
  • Put insurance companies back in charge of our health care by repealing the consumer benefits and subsidies in the Affordable Care Act.
  • Used the savings from these draconian cuts to give tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires.

HCAN lobbied against this proposal in DC and in the states and it was defeated in the Senate.

Letter to members of Congress opposing budget reconciliation recommendations cutting Medicaid funding

The Republican Budget Plan: Punishing Seniors and Families

HCAN Executive Director Ethan Rome’s Huffington Post: Republicans Want to Replace Medicare with Rationcare

HCAN Executive Director Ethan Rome’s Huffington Post: New Republican Assault on the Middle Class: Slash Medicaid, Hurt Seniors and Millions in Need

HCAN Executive Director Ethan Rome’s Huffington Post: Republican Budget Plan Denies the American Dream

Letter to Members of Congress opposing H.R. 452, which would eliminate the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB)

Letter to Members of Congress opposing H.R. 5, which would eliminate the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB)

In December 2011, Rep. Ryan announced a new Medicare reform plan with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR). Like the Ryan budget, the plan would turn Medicare into a voucher plan, raising costs for seniors. When the cost of medical spending grows, the vouchers would be automatically cut back – with more of the cost being shifted to beneficiaries – unless Congress intervened to find other ways to cut costs.

Press Release – Representative Ryan Puts New Spin on Recycled Plan to Privatize, Eliminate Medicare As We Know It – With Help From Senator Wyden

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