CHIP is Essential but Seniors Shouldn’t Bear the Cost, says the Medicare Rights Center
Washington, DC—The Medicare Rights Center strongly supports the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) which provides affordable health coverage to working families for over 8 million children. CHIP gives families, including people with Medicare, a needed sense of security. This makes it vital that the CHIP program is not paid for temporarily with permanent cost-shifts to older adults and people with disabilities with Medicare.
The latest proposal from the House of Representatives would unfairly and inappropriately burden people with Medicare.
“We cannot support increasing costs for people with Medicare in order to get a short-term fix for CHIP,” said Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center, a national nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities.
The bill would require certain higher-income Medicare beneficiaries to pay more for their Medicare coverage. Higher-income people with Medicare already pay more in monthly premiums, up to $3,535 extra a year. This doesn’t include increases, already signed into law but which will not go into effect until 2018, that were used to pay for changes to physician reimbursements. The full impact of those changes won’t be known for several years.
“When some people with Medicare have to pay much more for their Medicare coverage, it undercuts the promises that have been made to the American people. These are people who have paid into Medicare their entire working lives, and they are already paying more,” said Baker. “Congress needs to work in a bipartisan way to find other sources of permanent financing for CHIP that will lower health care costs for everyone, not raise them.”
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