The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) recently released a new report on the effects repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could have on Medicare, both for federal spending and for beneficiaries.
KFF identifies several key provisions in the ACA that have a direct impact on Medicare. These provisions include improvements to Medicare benefits, reductions to health care provider and Medicare Advantage (MA) plan payments, increased revenues for the Medicare Trust Fund, incentives to reform the way care is paid for and delivered, and more.
Overall, the Medicare changes included in the ACA bettered the funding streams and stability of the program. These changes also benefited people with Medicare.
Medicare provides quality health coverage to nearly 57 million older adults and people with disabilities. Many Medicare beneficiaries have low incomes, and they often have significant health problems. Without Medicare, many of these beneficiaries would struggle to find and afford health care. This makes it vital to protect the Medicare guarantee of high-quality, affordable health coverage.
The KFF report shows the close links between Medicare and the ACA, and demonstrates how haphazard elimination of these provisions could have unintended consequences, both for the federal budget and the lives of millions. As an important example, KFF predicts that “full repeal of the Medicare provisions in the ACA would increase payments to hospitals and other health care providers and Medicare Advantage plans, which would likely lead to higher premiums, deductibles, and cost sharing for Medicare-covered services paid by people with Medicare.”