Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers expects the Trump administration and Congress to act soon to deal with the Affordable Care Act and possibly change Medicare.
Now that Republicans will actually have the numbers to do away with Obamacare, McMorris Rodgers says some provisions of the landmark law will likely be spared.
“There’s always been broad support for the kids up to age 26 that want to stay on their parents plan to do so, also pre-existing conditions; those with preexisting conditions need to be assured there will still be plans to meet their needs,” said McMorris Rodgers.
The Eastern Washington Republican has been critical of the ACA even when large numbers of low income residents in her district signed up for coverage.
McMorris Rodgers says those people should not be afraid they will be left in the lurch when Congress reconvenes in January.
“Whatever happens, there’s got to be a transition so that everyone can have that confidence there is not going to be a cliff where one day they have health insurance, and then they don’t.”
She also says it’s time lawmakers have a serious debate about the future of Medicare.
“The average couple will pay $100,000 into Medicare in the course of their lifetime, and they are pulling out $250,000 in benefits. And I think anyone understands that is not sustainable, so we need to make sure we are taking steps now to secure Medicare and make sure it is in a position where current and future generations will know the commitment that Medicare is there for them,” said McMorris Rodgers.
House Speaker Paul Ryan is proposing Medicare reform that includes "Medicare exchanges" where private insurance companies would compete with traditional government-run Medicare for customers.
Ryan has argued that Medicare is going broke because of Obamacare, but this year’s Medicare trustees report says the program would now be able to pay all its bills through 2028, a full 11 years longer than a 2009 forecast. They attribute that in part to changes in Medicare called for in the Affordable Care Act.