Transcript: Hoyer says health care law closes Medicare prescription loopholes

Remarks by Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer on the second anniversary of the Affordable Care Act on March 23, 2012: 

“Since it was signed into law two years ago, and we celebrate its signing, health reform has made it possible for over 32 million seniors on Medicare to access free preventive services.

“The Leader said that, but it bears repeating, because people need to understand the consequences of what this bill is doing for America and Americans.

“It has reduced the cost of prescription drugs under Medicare Part D, and it will eliminate the donut hole by the end of this decade. The cost containment provisions in the Affordable Care Act are already slowing the growth of Medicare spending, with many beneficiaries’ premiums and deductibles already going down or growing at the lowest rates in years.

“Republicans, on the other hand, want to end the Medicare guarantee and turn Medicare into a voucher program that would ask seniors to pay more than $6,000 a year out of pocket. Americans who are age 54 would have to save an additional – listen to this – an additional $182,000, just to cover their health care costs in retirement. The donut hole would reopen if we repealed the health care bill, swallowing an additional $44 billion in extra drug costs for seniors through 2020.

“These are the kinds of figures we are talking about. Some of you, like me, in this room are seniors, and you understand the consequences of that increase. You are now going to hear from an American who was falling into the donut hole every year. And I want to thank him for being here.

“But thanks to the Affordable Care Act, his Medicare prescription drug costs are much lower, and as I said, the donut hole is closing.”



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5 Comments on “Transcript: Hoyer says health care law closes Medicare prescription loopholes

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  3. Remember the movie Beware! The 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 in the shape of a doughnut hole and consuming all those new Medicare benefits made possible by the Affordable Care Act. 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.

    As Hoyer notes, 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. That’s when the real horror show begins.

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