President Biden on Tuesday touted a decrease in Medicare premium for next year. At a White House event, Biden repeated his campaign season warning that Republicans want to put Social Security and Medicare “on the chopping block” and pledged to protect the programs. He also celebrated an announcement from the Department of Health and Human Services that premiums for Medicare Part B will go down in 2023.
“For years, that fee has gone up. Now, for the first time in more than a decade, it’s going to go down. And millions of seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare, that means more money in their pockets while still getting the care they need,” he said.
Rachel Roubein of The Washington Post writes that “the reality is more complicated than that election-year sound bite.”
The reduction in premiums by 3% for 2023, she explains, will correct for a significantly larger hike this year that proved to be larger than needed. The 2022 hike of about 14.5% was announced amid uncertainty about the potential impact of an new Alzheimer’s drug called Aduhelm, which threatened to explode Medicare costs. That didn’t happen. The cost of the drug was cut roughly in half from an original $56,000 a year — and Medicare sharply limited coverage.
The changes involving the new drug were a major reason for Medicare’s lower 2023 premium.