Medicare is a critical program that millions of American seniors rely on, but it’s headed towards bankruptcy. According to the latest report from the Medicare trustees, Medicare will become insolvent in 2024. Allowing this to happen would irresponsibly jeopardize the health care of Medicare beneficiaries, and would mean that by the time my three children become eligible for Medicare benefits this vital program would be a thing of the past. This is a serious issue that requires serious solutions from our nation’s leaders. Unfortunately, Obamacare recklessly cuts $716 billion from Medicare in order to fund a new entitlement program, and with its costly mandates and regulations has made doctors less likely to accept Medicare patients.
If we pause and remember why Medicare exists, it is to provide our nation’s seniors and disabled with access to health care coverage. In fact, Texas alone currently has over 3 million seniors that rely on Medicare for accessible and affordable care. I regularly meet with constituents throughout the 23rd District of Texas who tell me of their concern that their Medicare benefits will be negatively impacted, or that their parents will no longer be able to find a doctor who accepts Medicare because of Obamacare’s Medicare cuts, new rules, and onerous regulations.
As a nation, we have a choice when it comes to Medicare. We can pretend that Medicare is not in trouble and do nothing, which is the only plan that truly ends Medicare as we know it. Or, we can reform and save Medicare so that we preserve its promise for current and future seniors. I know how important Medicare is and I will not stand by and let its promise to seniors be broken. That’s why I supported the House of Representatives’ budget, which outlines a plan to save Medicare that makes no changes for those Americans who are 55 and older, while allowing those 55 and younger the ability to choose from a variety of Medicare-approved options – including staying in fee-for-service Medicare that exists today – for receiving Medicare benefits. The reforms envisioned in the House of Representatives’ budget will ensure our nation keeps the promises made to seniors both today and tomorrow.
We must take decisive action now to save Medicare. Support for the status quo is the only option that truly ends Medicare as we know it. As the representative of the 23rd District of Texas, I remain committed to saving Medicare to ensure that seniors today and in the future will have access to the care Medicare was established to provide.
This column was written by U.S. Rep. Francisco Canseco.