WASHINGTON — In response to President Joe Biden’s announcement that his upcoming budget proposal will extend Medicare solvency past 2050, Health Care for America Now Executive Director Margarida Jorge released the following statement:
Over 64 million Americans currently enrolled in Medicare have contributed to this essential program for the entirety of their careers, paying their fair share so that one day they could enjoy the security of affordable health care as they got older. President Biden’s plan will ensure that the American people retain that security for the next 25 years and make Medicare stronger by curbing drug corporations’ price-gouging and requiring the wealthiest households to pay more taxes.
The President’s plan is a welcome alternative to Republican calls to cut benefits, raise the retirement age or make middle and working class people pay higher Medicare payroll taxes. And, it shows that we can strengthen Medicare for the future with common sense measures that are well within reach.
Medicare negotiations under the Inflation Reduction Act are already projected to save over $150 billion. Expanding negotiations to lower prices on many more drugs will save billions more to reinvest in Medicare for future generations. Raising the Medicare tax rate from 3.8 percent to five percent for earned and unearned income above $400,000 will make the code more fair without increasing burdens on working families and will raise the revenue we need to accommodate an aging population. Biden’s plan offers practical solutions for Medicare that will avoid a future funding crisis while ensuring benefits and cutting waste and price-gouging. It’s time for Republicans in Congress to show the American public that they are also willing to put the health and well-being of working families ahead of the interests of the ultra-rich and corporations.