Today, we got more good news about the Affordable Care Act, the new law that will give seniors better benefits and save Medicare $575 billion over the next ten years. Many savings provisions in the new law kick in immediately, totaling about $8 billion in just the first two years. That’s real money, even in Washington, and it’s money we're saving by cutting waste, fraud and abuse and making Medicare more efficient -- not by changing seniors' guaranteed Medicare benefits. In fact, we’re making benefits for seniors even better. In the coming years, seniors will save an average of $200 per year in premiums and more than $200 in coinsurance, and we’ll completely close the Medicare prescription drug gap known as the “donut hole.”
This morning, the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees released a new report that demonstrates how the Affordable Care Act is helping to reduce costs and make Medicare stronger. The report shows that the Affordable Care Act will extend the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by 12 additional years – the biggest extension ever – and help preserve Medicare for generations to come.
But the Affordable Care Act isn’t just about saving money for Medicare. It’s about providing better services and giving seniors higher quality care. Many of the provisions on the Affordable Care Act are specifically designed to improve care and lower costs - like providing free preventive care and avoiding hospital readmissions.
Forty -five years ago, President Johnson signed Medicare into law – making a solemn commitment to provide to our seniors and some of the most vulnerable Americans with health care coverage. President Obama will always uphold that commitment. That’s why we fought for the Affordable Care Act in first place – to ensure that Medicare is protected for years to come.
Today we also learned that the Affordable Care Act is actually expected to strengthen Social Security and improve its solvency by bringing down health premiums, resulting in higher take-home pay for America’s workers. Social Security is a critical bedrock of economic security not just for America’s seniors but for people with disabilities and survivors and our Administration is committed to working to keep it that way not just for the current generation but for generations to come.
You can learn more about ways the Affordable Care Act is cutting costs and improving health care for seniors and all Americans at HealthCare.gov.
Nancy-Ann DeParle is Director of the White House Office of Health Reform