Archive for October 16, 2009

Dear Senator Dodd

We have avoided adding to the myriad requests we know you  must be getting now that you are helping to develop a final Senate health care reform bill. But, it’s quickly becoming now or never, so we write about two of our main concerns:

  1. The Center for Medicare Advocacy is concerned about the Medicare Commission that the White House seems to envision and that the Finance Committee passed.  While we understand the value of a payment commission from some points of view, we, and others who represent Medicare beneficiaries, are terribly concerned about provisions that would essentially empower an unelected Commission to cap Medicare funding.  There is no justification for such unilateral Medicare cost-containment. (Except regarding private Medicare Advantage.  We have been stating, and will continue to explain, that cuts to the outlandish, wasteful Medicare Advantage subsidies are completely justified.) A Commission empowered to cap overall Medicare funding threatens the future of the traditional Medicare program and is dangerous to older and disabled people. This is sadly ironic since such a Commission could essentially create the very kind of privatized, capped Medicare program that Newt Gingrich envisioned when he said that, “while we may not be able to kill Medicare, we can make it wither on the vine”. 
  2. As you know, the Center for Medicare Advocacy is highly supportive of a real public option in health care reform.  We are grateful for your active support for this key component of true reform. We know all too well how private Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans have often abused the system, profited the insurance industry, and endangered the financial well-being of traditional Medicare. To replicate this system by having a private – only – health care reform system is simply to repeat history and to once again give away taxpayer dollars to big industry. 

Thank you for all you are doing to bring health care access to all and reason to the health care system. Please let us  know if we can help.

October 16, 2009 at 7:39 pm Leave a comment


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