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Today, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a landmark decision upholding the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The individual mandate, in addition to other provisions – including those that improve Medicare – was ruled constitutional.[1]

The law can now continue to help older and disabled Americans, children with special needs, people with pre-existing conditions, women, young adults, and small businesses.  In just two years the law has already saved over $3 billion in Medicare prescription drug costs for older and disabled Americans, put $1.1 billion in rebates back in the pockets of 12.8 million consumers, and allowed over 3 million young adults to retain access to health coverage on their parents' health plans. Even more consumer-friendly provisions, provider incentives, and community resources will go into effect in the coming years.

ACA strengthens and improves the Medicare program.  As a result of the Supreme Court ruling these Medicare improvements will continue, including:

  • Extending the solvency of the Medicare program
  • Eliminating the Part D prescription drug Donut Hole coverage gap by 2020
    • As a result of ACA, there is 50% discount for brand drugs and a 14% discount for generics for people who hit the Donut Hole in 2012
  • Eliminating cost-sharing for preventive services
  • Adding new preventive services
  • Reining in overpayments to private Medicare Advantage plans
  • Implementing demonstration and pilot programs to improve quality of care while reducing costs
  • Expanding consumer protections for individuals in private Medicare Advantage plans, including prohibitions against charging more than traditional Medicare for certain high-cost services

The Center urges policymakers to get to work implementing ACA.  The Center for Medicare Advocacy has advocated for people with Medicare for over 25 years, so is in the unique position of having seen a program that was initially doubted, even feared, come to be a beloved American value. We have no doubt that health care reform will follow the same successful path as families benefit from it.

For more details on how the Affordable care Act is already benefiting Americans, see our previous Alerts at: www.MedicareAdvocacy.org/ACA

For further information about the Supreme Court ruling, contact the Center for Medicare Advocacy’s Litigation Director Gill Deford at gdeford@medicareadvocacy.org or (860) 456-7790; for more information about the Affordable Care Act and its improvements to the Medicare program, contact Center policy attorney David Lipschutz at dlipschu@medicareadvocacy.org or (202) 293-5760.   

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