Several recent articles about Medicare have shown a decrease in costs as benefits grew.
In the first full year of the new healthcare law, 3.6 million people in the government Medicare program saved $2.1 billion on prescription drugs in 2011. The savings are one of the first tangible benefits of the sweeping overhaul that the president signed in March 2010. The Medicare prescription drug provision is designed to gradually phase out a gap in coverage for pharmaceuticals that was included in the Part D program when it was created under President George W. Bush.
In 2010, beneficiaries who hit the so-called doughnut hole in coverage received a $250 rebate check under a provision of the new law.
In 2011, the law provided beneficiaries a 50% discount on covered brand-name drugs and a 7% discount on generics when they hit the doughnut hole.
That worked out to an average of $604 per beneficiary, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Those discounts are slated to rise to 75% for brand name and generic drugs by 2020, when the coverage gap will be eliminated altogether.
As the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives begin making crucial budgetary decisions for FY 2013, a new bipartisan national survey conducted for the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care by Public Opinion Strategies and Hart Research Associates finds that after hearing that Medicare funds are used to help pay for nursing home care, 82% of registered voters (RVs) oppose reducing Medicare funding for seniors' nursing home care; 90% say funding for U.S. nursing home care should either "remain the same" or "increase"; 69% support the concept of phasing-in a 2011 Medicare regulation that reduced Medicare funding by 11.1% all at one time.
See articles at L.A.Times, The Wall Street Journal blog, and The Sacramento Bee.