November 2015

Medicare Provisions in 2016 Budget Deal - On November 2, 2015, President Obama signed a budget agreement that lifts the sequester level for two years, increasing funding for defense and non-defense discretionary spending by $80 billion, and lifts the debt-ceiling until 2017. The agreement also reduces the increases in Medicare Part B premiums for 16 million Medicare beneficiaries who would have been subjected to a 52% increase in 2016.

October 2015

Medicare Part B Increases - On October 15, 2015, the Social Security Administration announced that there will be no Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for Social Security beneficiaries in 2016. When seniors don’t receive a COLA, a provision known as “hold harmless” protects 70% of beneficiaries from higher Medicare Part B premiums. Unfortunately, 30% of seniors and persons with disabilities are not protected.

July 2015

Medicare Drug Discounts Fact Sheet - As Congress debates reducing the deficit and demanding health savings, one area where Congress can find significant savings is drug costs. The government should use its bulk purchasing power to obtain the best possible price for pharmaceuticals under Medicare, as is currently done for veterans and low-income Medicaid beneficiaries.

Medicare Redesign Fact Sheet - Medicare currently operates on two separate deductibles: a deductible for Medicare for Part A (hospital coverage) and another for Medicare Part B (doctor and outpatient coverage). A proposal put forward by MedPAC would shift more costs on to beneficiaries by instituting a combined deductible for Medicare Part A and B of $550 and create a limit of up to $5500 for out-of-pocket costs (the “cost-sharing limit”).

January 2015
Schakowsky - Matsui Letter to President Obama - Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Doris Matsui (D-CA), co-chairs of the Congressional Task Force on Seniors, wrote to President Obama on January 7, asking him to reject any proposals that would cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid or shift costs to those who use the programs.

Fact Sheet: Social Security and Medicare Facts and Figures for 2015  - See what's changed in the new year!

April 2014
Paul Ryan Budget for FY 2015
On April 10, 2014, the U.S. House passed the House Republican (Ryan) budget for Fiscal Year 2015 by a vote of 219-205.  As feared, it is a plan that would harm the middle class while providing a windfall for millionaires.

March 2014
"Doc Fix" Letter to the U.S. House of Representatives
The Alliance sent a letter to all members of the U.S. House of Representatives on March 13 regarding the “doc fix,” or “Sustainable Growth Rate” (SGR). The SGR is supposed to chop provider reimbursement if spending rises too fast, but such steep cuts in practice would harm patient care, and more doctors would refuse to treat seniors.  The letter from Alliance Executive Director Richard Fiesta opposed the passage of H.R. 4015, the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act, as the solution.

February 2014
The "Doc Fix"
The Alliance for Retired Americans believes the “Doc Fix” should be paid for by requiring pharmaceutical companies to pay rebates for low-income beneficiaries under the Medicare program.

Medicare Drug Discounts
As Congress debates reducing the deficit and demanding health savings, one area where Congress can find significant savings is drug costs.

April 2013
Medicare Benefits for 2013

Make sure you're taking full advantage of the latest benefits!

Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid: What's at Stake in 2013  en español
Learn about the most recent potential threats to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Fact Sheet - Medicare Drug Discounts
As Congress debates reducing the deficit and demanding health savings, one area where Congress can find significant savings is drug costs. The government should use its bulk purchasing power to obtain the best possible price for pharmaceuticals under Medicare, as is currently done for veterans and low-income Medicaid beneficiaries.

March 2013
Compare the Ryan Budget with the U.S. Senate Budget!
Unlike the budget plan promoted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), which passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week, the Murray budget does not include any cuts to Social Security or to Medicare benefits, nor does it gut Medicaid by turning it into a block grant program.

Letter: January 2013
A letter of endorsement supporting Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s (D-MN) bill, S. 117, to require Medicare Part D drug negotiation. The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, which created the Medicare Part D prescription drug program, explicitly forbids the government from negotiation lower prices for Medicare beneficiaries. Sen. Klobuchar's legislation amends that law to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower prices, saving American taxpayers billions of dollars.
Letter of Support for Senator Klobuchar's Drug Negotiation Bill

Fact Sheet: June 2012
How various deficit reduction programs would affect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid
Effect of Various Deficit Reduction Proposals on Programs for Seniors

Talking Points: May 2012
Do you want to be active in protecting Social Security and Medicare, but aren’t always sure what to say? The Alliance has created a concise 2-page document with suggestions on what questions to ask. For instance, see if your elected officials support turning Medicare into a voucher program!
What to Say at Town Halls

Fact Sheet: March 2012
See how House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's proposed FY 2013 budget would affect Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
The Paul Ryan Budget: Implications for Seniors

Letter: March 2012
Letter to all Members of the U.S. the House, urging them to vote against the Ryan Republican budget for FY 2013.  The House vote on this budget is scheduled for March 29, 2012,
Alliance Letter to House Members on the Paul Ryan FY 2013 Budget

Fact Sheet: February 2012
Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid: What's at Stake in 2012  en español 
Will across the board cuts go into effect in 2013? If so, will Medicare and Medicaid be protected?

Fact Sheets: November 2011
Alliance fact sheet with the 2012 numbers for various Social Security and Medicare thresholds.
Social Security and Medicare 2012 Facts and Figures      en español

Fact Sheets: October 2011
Balanced Budget Amendment and Medicare  A Balanced Budget Amendment has been gaining momentum in Congress. Learn what it could mean for Medicare.

Talking Points about the Super Committee  What to say about the Super Committee if talking to an elected official, or anyone who wants to know more.

See how the Super Committee might affect Medicare, and what to watch for. Super Committee and Medicare

Summer 2011:

This summer Medicare celebrated its 46th anniversary. Seniors across the nation will celebrate with birthday cake, actions and town hall meetings. Download the Senior_Summer_Toolkit_2011.pdf for details and materials for hosting an event.

Summer Medicare Anniversary Events A comprehensive list of all the summer events the Alliance will be hosting in honor of Medicare's 46th anniversary. 

Fact Sheet on Paul Ryan Republican Budget  Learn how House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's April 5, 2011 Budget Plan Would Adversely Affect Seniors who rely on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

Paul Ryan Letter  Letter from the Alliance to all Members of the U.S House, urging them to vote against the Ryan Budget.

District by District Impact of the Republican Medicare Plan and Medicaid Cuts A map released by the House Energy and Commerce Democrats that shows congressional district data on the impact of the Ryan Medicare and Medicaid plan.

Health Care Benefits for Seniors in 2011 Based on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act  By cutting costs and improving the quality of care, the Affordable Care Act will improve the lives of Medicare beneficiaries.  In particular, starting in 2011, seniors in Medicare will receive a free annual checkup and will be exempt from paying for preventative screenings.  Additionally, by generating billions of dollars through cost saving mechanisms, the health law will close the tumultuous prescription drug coverage gap by 2020.  These changes put the needs of our country’s seniors ahead of insurance company profits and the Alliance fully supports that.  To learn more about the changes to Medicare and how it will affect you, please see our fact sheets and issue briefs listed below.Many benefits for seniors, including free preventive services, are in effect as of January 1, 2011!

Long Term Care  Facts about the forthcoming changes to the long-term care sector of our health care system.

Medicare Advantage Changes  A detailed description of the changes to Medicare Advantage plans as dictated by the new health law.  Provided both in English and in Spanish.

Medicare Advantage Changes (español) 

Medicare Benefits  A comprehensive summary of what is going to change and improve in Medicare and how that will affect beneficiaries.

In January 2010, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) released The Roadmap for America’s Future, which would radically alter our nation’s social insurance programs and tax policies.  According to an analysis by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, a non-partisan think tank, the plan would result in a massive transfer of resources from working and middle class Americans to the nation’s wealthiest individuals.  Under the Republican majority in the House, Congressman Ryan has become the Chairman of the Budget Committee in 2011. Here is how seniors would be affected by the Ryan Roadmap:  Fact Sheet-Ryan Roadmap-December_15 2010        en español

Issue brief on the final actions of the Fiscal Commission  On December 3, 2010, the full Commission met to vote on the co-chairs’ proposal.  Under the Executive Order that created the Commission, 14 votes of the 18 members were necessary to make the proposal an official recommendation of the Commission.  The Commission voted 11 to 7 in favor of the proposal, which means the Commission did not adopt the proposals to change Medicare.  en español

Comments to Senate Finance Committee- Medicare Buy In  The Alliance leadership called on Congress to allow early retirees to buy into Medicare.

Stop Medicare Privatization-Issue Brief  A list of strategic talking points on the consequences of privatizing Medicare.