Medicare contributes $1.3 billion to North Dakota’s economy, equivalent to 12 percent of state and local government spending in the state, according to a new report from AARP. Medicare also covers 116,951 beneficiaries in the state. Older Americans have said Medicare is one of their top issues in the 2018 mid-term elections, and AARP North Dakota is working to encourage voter participation this election season.
“Medicare is a major economic engine in our state’s economy, as well as a key part of providing health security to North Dakotans,” said AARP North Dakota State Director Josh Askvig. “Medicare is one of their top issues for older Americans in the mid-term election in November, yet too many politicians fail to recognize the contributions Medicare makes to the economy and our residents. Any candidate who fails to talk about how they would strengthen Medicare for future generations does so at their peril.”
A breakdown of some of Medicare’s spending in North Dakota is below:
- $819 million for hospitals
- $184 million for doctors
- $40 million for other health professionals
- $34 million for skilled nursing facilities
- $20 million for home health agencies
- $175 million for prescriptions and medical supplies
- $12 million for medical equipment
Also, businesses in North Dakota receiving Medicare dollars use them to pay employees’ salaries, rent, state and local taxes, and buy equipment, and make capital improvements to their facilities.
Recently, AARP worked to help close the Medicare Part D doughnut hole a year early – a victory for older Americans that the pharmaceutical industry is working to undo. AARP has also long opposed efforts that would reduce benefits or shift costs onto consumers by turning Medicare into a voucher program. Such a move would dramatically increase people’s health care costs, and expose current and future retirees to greater financial risk.
AARP’s “Be The Difference. Vote” campaign includes a one-stop online portal to provide people with the information they need about this year’s elections. This year's elections are some of the most important in our lifetimes. Medicare, Social Security, and other critical issues are on the line – and our votes will decide whether Washington gets to work, or puts our future at risk.
This November, have your say: PLEDGE TO VOTE IN THIS YEAR'S ELECTIONS!