The dreaded Medicare Coverage Gap will return if Obamacare goes away
Remember the movie Beware! The Blog (also called Son of Blog), the 1972 sequel to the horror science-fiction film The Blob? In this film, a rapidly-growing mass of red ooze returns to prey upon a small town, consuming everything and everyone in its path.
I hate to say it, but sometime in the near future the Blob may return again, this time to consume all those new Medicare benefits made possible by the Affordable Care Act, aka, Obamacare. Like all those low-budget horror films of the 1970s, a sequel to Obamacare—be it by way of Republican repeal or Supreme Court decision—could be pretty scary and rotten for many people.
For the past few months, Mitt Romney has been going around the country telling supporters that he vows to repeal healthcare reform on Day One of his presidency. I’m not going to get into the irony of this promise or bring up any other political views here, but suffice it to say that most Republicans are in favor of doing away with both Obama and his administration’s Affordable Care Act. Mind you, repealing the law entirely would be a very difficult and lengthy process, but let’s assume it could happen.
We also have to watch out for those nine men and women in black. Starting today, the Supreme Court will begin hearing three days of arguments over the constitutionality of the healthcare reform law. There are three ways the Supreme Court could rule: It could uphold the law, strike down parts of the law, or strike down the whole law.
If there’s a sequel to Obamacare, the Blob may very well return – albeit, in the shape of a donut hole.
Under the Affordable Care Act, the donut hole is shrinking each year until it closes in 2020. Right now, 3.5 million seniors and disabled citizens with Medicare Part D coverage pay less for prescription drugs when they reach the Coverage Gap. Thanks to the ACA’s Coverage Gap Discount Program, Medicare beneficiaries have already saved an estimated $3.2 billion on prescription drugs. In addition, every senior now receives free preventive-care visits under Medicare Part B.
As Vice President Joe Biden recently told a group of seniors in Florida, if the law is appealed or struck down in its entirety, the donut hole will return and you can say good-bye to free preventive care visits.
If you would like more information about all the benefits you are entitled to with Medicare under the Affordable Care Act, check out this short video from the Patients Aware campaign.
This campaign was created by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare Foundation, the Herndon Alliance, and the National Physicians Alliance to help seniors understand the new Medicare benefits available to them through the Affordable Care Act.
It’s not as exciting as Son of Blob, but it helps show why Obamacare is not the horror show some people want us all to believe.