Idea of the Day: The Affordable Care Act Is Lowering Health Care Costs
The Affordable Care Act is improving the quality of our health care while controlling rapidly rising costs.
Health care reform requires insurance plans to cover important preventive services, including critical immunizations, numerous health screenings, and counseling services, with no cost-sharing by women. In 2011 alone more than 85 million people—32.5 million Medicare beneficiaries and 54 million Americans with private insurance—including seniors, women, and persons with disabilities, accessed these critical preventive services for free. Millions of women will take advantage of more comprehensive preventive care beginning in August 2012, including free mammograms, well-woman visits, contraception, and breast-feeding support and counseling.
Seniors and persons with disabilities enrolled in Medicare saw significant savings thanks to the law. The Affordable Care Act works to close the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage gap, also known as the “donut hole.” In 2011 alone, nearly 4 million seniors saved more than $2.1 billion on prescription drugs—an average of $604 per person—and will save even more in the years ahead. The average Medicare patient will save $4,200 from 2011 to 2021 while those with higher prescription drug costs will save as much as $16,000 over the same period.
Further, the Affordable Care Act will strengthen Medicare benefits while controlling its costs in other key ways. Medicare Advantage (Part C) enrollees benefited from 16 percent lower monthly premiums since 2010. Enrollment in the Medicare Advantage program also increased 17 percent since 2010 with more beneficiaries in higher quality four- and five-star plans, reflecting the act’s commitment to giving seniors choices for quality, affordable care. In February 2012 enrollment in Medicare Advantage was more than 2 million people higher than the Congressional Budget Office previously projected in 2010.
For more on this topic, please see:
To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:
Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or email@example.com
Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or email@example.com
Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues, TalkPoverty.org, faith)
202.478.5328 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Print: Beatriz Lopez (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.741.6255 or email@example.com
Spanish-language and ethnic media: Rafael Medina
202.478.5313 or firstname.lastname@example.org
TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or email@example.com
Radio: Sally Tucker
202.481.8103 or firstname.lastname@example.org