By Judith Schmidt
Congress is at the moment contemplating a variety of methods to enhance the lives of the American folks. Given what number of elements of our nation are nonetheless reeling from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, together with many communities all through New Jersey, it’s crucial our authorities give attention to how they will accomplish this with out negatively impacting the healthcare of tens of millions.
Because the voice for over 165,000 nurses in New Jersey, the New Jersey State Nurses Affiliation continually works to advance high quality well being take care of all residents of the Backyard State, significantly communities which can be deprived and sometimes have even higher well being wants.
Particularly following the pandemic, we’ve been significantly targeted on the safety and growth of well being care plans and packages that present reliable, inexpensive care to seniors, a bunch that was disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
And but, whereas we’ve been advocating for packages like Medicare Benefit, plainly Congress is now contemplating making cuts to this very important program.
Medicare Benefit is at the moment serving over 500,000 seniors in New Jersey and 27 million seniors and people with disabilities throughout the nation. This system is important in making certain communities with higher well being wants are having their considerations met.
As a result of seniors usually dwell on fastened or restricted incomes, Medicare Benefit has performed an important position in connecting seniors with high quality well being care with out asking them to overextend financially. Medicare Benefit premiums have constantly decreased, and in 2022 the typical senior is anticipated to pay simply $19 per 30 days for his or her premium.
Not solely is Medicare Benefit inexpensive, however it’s adaptable as nicely. There are over 50 plans supplied to seniors in New Jersey alone, permitting them to decide on the plan that gives probably the most important advantages for his or her private wants.
Among the hottest advantages embody complete prescription drug protection, telehealth providers, prescription drug and grocery deliveries, wellness lessons and health club memberships, and built-in listening to, dental, and imaginative and prescient advantages. Irrespective of the considerations of a Medicare Benefit beneficiary, there’s a plan obtainable that may meet their wants.
If we need to severely enhance the lives of seniors on this nation, we have to proceed supporting the packages which can be clearly working.
Our nurses have firsthand expertise working with sufferers throughout New Jersey, and it’s clear that seniors on Medicare Benefit live more healthy and happier lives. Medicare Benefit just isn’t solely providing seniors reactive care, however proactive as nicely, making certain higher well being outcomes as seniors age.
So, regardless of the continued success and progress of Medicare Benefit, Congress remains to be contemplating making cuts to this system – which might influence the well being care protection of tens of millions of People.
These cuts might endanger the well being and wellbeing of extremely weak senior populations. For a lot of, significantly seniors who’re low earnings, Medicare Benefit is the one method they’re able to afford high quality care. Ought to cuts be made that end in elevated premiums, seniors who rely upon Medicare Benefit might now not be capable of afford their protection.
We hope that Congress, particularly our New Jerseys representatives, will proceed to hearken to the recommendation of well being care professionals who’re constantly advocating for Medicare Benefit. Medicare Benefit works for seniors, and it’s within the pursuits of lawmakers and constituents alike to proceed supporting this program.
Judith Schmidt is CEO of The New Jersey State Nurses Affiliation (NJSNA), which represents the state’s 140,000 Registered Nurses and Superior Follow Nurses.
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