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Congressman Ralph Abraham

Representing the 5th District of Louisiana

Abraham votes to save Medicare from insolvency

March 26, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, voted this week to save Medicare from going bankrupt, a move that will protect seniors’ access to health care.

If allowed to follow its current path, Medicare would become insolvent by 2030, which would threaten a vital program that so many of our nation’s seniors rely on. The House’s bill makes structural changes to the program so that it can continue to protect seniors while preserving the program for generations to come.

The Medicare enhancements passed with bipartisan support in the House followed many of the recommendations put forth by the Doctors Caucus of which Dr. Abraham is a member.

“As a doctor, I have spent most of my life treating seniors who rely on Medicare. We had to find a solution to provide stability to a program that is vital to so many people while making sure it will be around for years to come. After taking care of seniors throughout my career, my vote today continues to protect them and the system they depend on,” Dr. Abraham said.

Some of the highlights of the legislation passed in the House on Thursday include:

  • Permanently fixes the physician payment schedule, which will ensure that seniors have access to doctors and health care.
  • Includes mechanisms to control premium costs to make the program more affordable.
  • Extends the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) so that 8 million children and pregnant women continue to have access to the program.
  • Provides funding for Community Health Centers (CHC).

In addition to the legislation passed Thursday, Dr. Abraham also joined the majority of Republicans in passing a budget that would end Washington’s reckless spending by saving money, ending deficit spending, addresses the long-term debt, and balances within eight years.

Included in that budget were additional measures that also strengthen the Medicare program by giving seniors more options to find the insurance plans that work best for them.

The budget included measures will allow every senior in the program the ability to remain in their current plan, but it also provides seniors with the ability to enroll in private insurance plans that will be backed through federal premium support.

The budget also protects eligibility for seniors currently enrolled in Medicare and those who are approaching eligibility age.

“Let me be crystal clear: No one is losing their Medicare. Every senior who likes his or her current Medicare plan can stay on that plan. If you’re a senior who likes your plan, keep it. If you want to explore other options, we now give that to you. This plan has been thoroughly vetted by me and other members of the Doctor’s Caucus, and we believe this is a good path to providing health care options to our patients,” Dr. Abraham said.