We appreciate your interest in our efforts to keep Medicare strong, advocate for the people who rely on Medicare, and provide important information.
As someone who is invested in our activities, we write today hoping you will help us spread the word about the need to protect and improve the Medicare program now, regardless of what might lie ahead for health care coverage.
We have been stunned by the lack of attention to Medicare itself in the presidential debates and press coverage. Candidates for public office at the national level need to know about current Medicare problems and explain their solutions to enhance the traditional Medicare program, slow privatization, and add important coverage and access to care for all Medicare beneficiaries.
Regardless of where they stand on Medicare for all, what will the candidates do to fix Medicare now? While we may not have total agreement about a universal expansion of Medicare, we can dramatically improve the health coverage and health of millions of Americans now, and for the future, by improving Medicare itself.
As a resident of an early primary state, you are in a unique position to help inform the candidates.
Please take the candidate questions below to a town hall, candidate forum, or any other opportunity you may have to question candidates, and be heard. Let’s find out what the candidates think about Medicare now. Let’s get Medicare right before we make it bigger.
Judith Stein, Esq.
Center for Medicare Advocacy
Get Answers – Questions for Candidates and Officeholders
- Most people who rely on Medicare still pay far too much out-of-pocket for Medicare cost-sharing and health care. Would you support an out-of-pocket cap for people in the traditional Medicare program?
- Medicare is a popular program, but there are significant gaps in what it covers, including most oral health, vision and hearing care. Do you think Medicare should cover these things? If so, how do we get there?
- What specific steps will you take to preserve and strengthen Medicare for all beneficiaries, whether they are in traditional Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan? Would you support a requirement that all benefits in Medicare Advantage also be available to people in traditional Medicare?
- How will you make Medicare more affordable for all the people who rely on it to make sure they get access to the care they need?
- Will you fight attempts to privatize Medicare by unfairly favoring private Medicare Advantage plans over traditional Medicare?
- Most people want to remain in their own homes as long as possible, but Medicare payment and audit policies make it hard for beneficiaries with chronic conditions and longer-term illnesses to get home health care. Will you help ensure that all people who qualify can actually get Medicare-covered home health care?
- Medicare policy and many hospitals deem patients as “outpatients” in “observation status,” not as formally “admitted” inpatients – even when they stay in the hospital for many days. As a result, these individuals must pay out-of-pocket if they need nursing home care when they leave the hospital. Would you support pending legislation that would count all time a Medicare patient spends in the hospital toward the 3-day hospital requirement to get nursing home coverage? Would you support removing the prior hospital stay requirement altogether?
- At best, Medicare beneficiaries can usually only get 100 days of nursing home coverage. Do you think Medicare should include a long-term care benefit? If so, how would you accomplish that?