Medicare as we know it is under attack.
Current efforts and proposals will privatize Medicare and increase costs.
Against the wishes of most Americans, some lawmakers want to cut Medicare benefits, driving up costs to you, and making health care and prescription drugs even less affordable.
They ignore simple fixes that would strengthen the program. Many are working to divide up Medicare into limited private insurance plans. Some want to raise the age of eligibility, which would lead to higher costs for those who are eligible. Some even want to completely transform Medicare from a program with clearly defined benefits to a "voucher" program with set contributions which would not be enough to pay for most people's care. This would end the Medicare program as we know it.
Today, 59 million older people and people with disabilities have health care because of Medicare. Most Americans say Medicare works well. If Medicare is in jeopardy, these people's lives are in jeopardy.
In 1995 Newt Gingrich predicted that privatization efforts would lead Medicare to "wither on the vine." He said it was unwise to get rid of Medicare right away, but envisioned a time when it would no longer exist because beneficiaries would move to private insurance plans.
That's what's happening right now in Congress, and it is not just by chance. Recent tax cuts for the highest earners have created a federal budget deficit of over 1.5 trillion dollars. Having just created this extraordinary deficit, some lawmakers are now calling for cuts to Medicare, Social Security, and other valuable programs, to solve this unnecessary, manufactured financial "crisis."
Medicare has met the needs of individual families for over 50 years while also helping to unite our national family. Medicare has helped pull families out of poverty, kept them well, and advanced health care innovations that benefit all Americans. Don’t let this national treasure unravel.
We need to improve Medicare, not cut it. Let's renew it and strengthen it for generations to come.
Protect Medicare. Don’t make America sick again.
It’s All Connected – ACA, Medicaid and Medicare are All Under Threat
President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress have promised to repeal and “replace” the Affordable Care Act. They also plan to gut the Medicaid program by imposing block granting or per-capita caps. Speaker Ryan, HHS Secretary Price, and many others in Congress also want to further privatize Medicare by turning it into a voucher program.
These are not isolated threats to be analyzed and defended against individually. Rather, these efforts comprise a collective threat to the health care and coverage of millions of Americans. Drew Altman of the Kaiser Family Foundation recently noted that, if carried through, this “health policy trifecta” would “fundamentally alter the direction of the federal role in health and core elements of the social contract” in a manner that would be “likely to shift costs to individuals and states as well as reduce consumer protections–and result in a significant increase in the number of uninsured.”
Repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would eliminate health insurance coverage for over 20 million people. This would include roughly 10 million people who have Medicaid thanks to expanded coverage through the ACA. A full repeal of the ACA would also reduce the solvency of Medicare’s Part A trust fund, re-open the Part D prescription drug “donut hole” and, among other things, remove coverage for a number of preventive services (although some ACA “replacement” proposals quietly keep the Medicare savings in order to offset the costs of killing the ACA).
Gutting the Medicaid program through block-granting or imposing per-capita caps would likely impact tens of millions of low-income families through cuts to eligibility, benefits and provider payments. This would include the roughly 10 million people who have both Medicare and Medicaid (known as “dual eligibles”) for whom Medicaid can cover Medicare premiums, cost-sharing and additional benefits.
Privatizing Medicare through premium support/vouchers would replace Medicare’s promise of a defined benefit with a coupon to shop for coverage, launching the traditional Medicare program chosen by two-thirds of beneficiaries into a death spiral. Read more about Medicare "Reform" and the value of the straditional Medicare program at https://www.medicareadvocacy.org/medicare-reform.
The threats are real. And they are imminent, with some policymakers suggesting that they should all be dealt with at once. Help protect the social contract and stand up for our health care.
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