What the Supreme Court healthcare ruling means for grayheads


Do Republicans realize how dumb they were to call this Obamacare?

“This is great news for seniors on Medicare,” Paul Nathanson, executive director of the National Senior Citizens Law Center…said in a conference call on Thursday after the Supreme Court issued its ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act.

Because several key provisions involving Medicare kicked in soon after Congress passed the bill in 2010, many beneficiaries won’t see big changes in their coverage now. But those improvements could have evaporated had the law been overturned…

See my previous postIf you’re already ill – you have a stake in SCOTUS healthcare ruling

This means the annual free wellness exam will continue — about 2.2 million people took advantage of it last year — along with the first “Welcome to Medicare” visit, which will remain free, with no out-of-pocket costs.

A number of preventive services, including mammograms, bone scans and depression and diabetes screenings, used to involve deductibles and co-pays; under the Affordable Care Act, they no longer do.

And the gradual closing of the dread “doughnut hole” gap in Part D drug coverage by 2020 will proceed, bolstered by discounts that have already lowered drug costs. “The average Medicare beneficiary will continue to save an average $650 a year,” said Max Richtman…“That’s real money, especially for seniors…”

On the long-term care front, the court’s action preserves several initiatives advancing efforts to support elderly and disabled people in their homes, rather than in nursing homes…

And starting in 2014, the Affordable Care Act will help husbands and wives hold onto more of their assets if a spouse must spend down to qualify for Medicaid.

Being a cranky old geek – and a hermit – I’m upset that I’ve lost all my excuses for NOT visiting my doctor for one or another periodic checkup. Used to be I’d just grumble about the cost of an office visit, appropriate tests, the lousy COLA Congress decides upon for my social security check. No more.

The good news? I’m in decent health for a grayhead.

The extra good news? Through all the whining in Congress and from TV talking heads the cost of my Medicare Advantage plan has risen to — $16 a month.

One comment

  1. moss

    Your caption has it wired.

    There’s little likelihood of Obamacare being turned around or reversed. Republicans will showboat and blather and play their majority in the House for all it is worth; but, in the end, they will not turn back the tide.

    Now, for decades going forward, this revision of American healthcare will be named after the Democrat who finally got us on the path to modernism in one important aspect of our whole lives.

    Whichever Republican strategist thought this up should be fired. Or so Karl Rove must think, this morning.

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