Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Medicare

As a senator, Hillary Clinton sponsored and co-sponsored bills to reduce the impact of the Medicare prescription drug gap by reducing the price of pharmaceuticals for seniors.  She’s aware that Medicare is the bedrock of coverage for more than 50 million American senior citizens and those people with disabilities.

As president, she would be commitment defend the program against efforts by congressional Republicans to end Medicare as we know it by privatizing Medicare or to gradually “phase out” the program.  

Keep in mind that even so called moderate congressional Republicans such as Chris Gibson voted more than 50 times to repeal or dismantle the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  The ACA made preventive care available without cost sharing to an estimated 39 million people with Medicare. 

It began to close the drug coverage gap, or “donut hole,” thereby saving more than 9 million people with Medicare an average of almost $1,600 per person.  Seniors and people with Medicare coverage cannot afford the repeal of the ACA.

Hillary would strongly oppose Republican attempts to weaken Medicare, because a typical senior citizen spends over $500 per year on prescription drugs.  Her plan would drive down drug costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower prices with drug and biologic manufacturers; demand higher rebates; and allow Americans to import lower-cost drugs from foreign countries with approved safety standards.  The plan encourages drug companies that get ahead by investing in life-saving treatments, rather than jacking up prices without innovating.  Those changes and reduced payments or higher rebates to drug companies will strengthen Medicare by saving more than $100 billion in spending.

Hillary’s plan would continue to reward quality and improve value in Medicare by building on delivery system reforms that began as initiatives and pilot projects under the Affordable Care Act.  For example, her plan will encourage the expansion of payment systems that pay for an entire episode of care or “bundle,” rather than the traditional “fee for service” payments, and those that incentivize doctors and hospitals to coordinate care in an Accountable Care Organization, so that providers are responsible for offering the best possible care at the highest value to patients.  These delivery reforms should provide higher quality at lower costs to people in Medicare.

Clinton plans to expand those changes to other parts of our health system so every American would eventually benefit from them.

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