Statement on the Budget Deal, by Medicare Rights Center President Joe Baker
New York, NY – The Medicare Rights Center supports the recently announced budget deal, which provides funding for the federal government through the next six weeks and avoids another government shutdown while giving families, including people with Medicare, a needed sense of security. We are disappointed, however, that the deal includes permanent cost-shifts to older adults and people with disabilities with Medicare.
This proposal will unfairly and inappropriately burden people with Medicare.
We cannot support increasing costs for people with Medicare in order to get a short-term fix. The deal would require certain higher-income Medicare beneficiaries to pay more for their Medicare coverage. Higher-income people with Medicare already pay more in monthly premiums, up to $3,535 extra a year. This doesn’t include increases that begin to go into effect this year, that were used to pay for changes to physician reimbursements. The full impact of those changes won’t be known for several years.
When some people with Medicare have to pay much more for their Medicare coverage, it undercuts the promises that have been made to the American people. These are people who have paid into Medicare their entire working lives, and they are already paying more. Congress needs to work in a bipartisan way to find other sources of permanent financing for health care that will lower health care costs for everyone, not raise them.