Today Rep. Henry A. Waxman, Ranking Member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, released for each congressional district an analysis of the impact of the Ryan budget on critical programs that seniors depend on, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and numerous other federal programs.Some highlights from the Pittsburgh Analysis:
The Affordable Care Act, which Congress enacted in 2010, reduces drug costs for seniors and the disabled on Medicare by closing the gap in prescription drug coverage known as the “donut hole.” This year, beneficiaries who use between $2,930 and $6,658 worth of prescription drugs will receive a 50% discount on those brand-name drugs; by 2020, the donut hole is completely eliminated. Nationwide, 5.5 million seniors have saved $4.5 billion as a result of these provisions.And:
The Ryan budget would repeal the Affordable Care Act, reopening the donut hole and increasing costs for the 11,400 Medicare beneficiaries in the district who are already benefitting from its drug discounts. This would have cost these seniors an average of $600 last year and over $700 this year. Over the next decade, this change would cost these seniors more than $9,200 each and increase the total drug costs for seniors in the district by more than $105 million.
The Ryan budget cuts federal nutrition assistance and changes program rules to reduce protections for seniors. The Ryan plan cuts food stamp funding by $133.5 billion over the next ten years and changes the program from a guarantee for individuals who meet certain income eligibility requirements to a block grant to states. As a result, states would be forced either to slash eligibility (ending food assistance for eight million low-income residents nationwide) or to cut benefits (reducing food assistance by an average of 24%, more than $1,100, per year) or some combination of both. In the district, more than 12,700 households with seniors participate in the food stamp program and would be threatened by these cuts.Go read the analysis. If you live outside of Pittsburgh, go read the analysis for your district.