A Note to Republicans about Medicare and Health Care Reform

February 26, 2010 at 3:43 pm 1 comment

We at the Center for Medicare Advocacy listened to the concerns you expressed about Medicare at the Health Care Summit on February 25.  Unfortunately, your descriptions of what happens to Medicare in the House, Senate, and President’s proposals does not accord with what the proposals actually do.

We want to remind you of some facts about Medicare and the healthcare bills that were passed by the Senate and the House and that are proposed by President Obama.

  • None of the proposals cuts Medicare benefits
    • What Medicare covers today will be covered after legislation is enacted.
    • Coverage is actually enhanced adding coverage of an annual exam.
  • Costs to Medicare beneficiaries are reduced by:
    • Eliminating cost-sharing for preventive services,
    • Reducing the Part D donut hole,
    • Limiting the cost-sharing Medicare Advantage plans may charge.
  • Quality of care received by Medicare beneficiaries is improved through:
    • The addition of new delivery systems to coordinate care,
    • The reduction of unnecessary hospital readmissions.
  • Cuts to Medicare Advantage plans reduce waste in the Medicare program by cutting unnecessary overpayments to private insurance companies.
    • Medicare Advantage plans are paid, on average 14% more that Medicare would spend if the beneficiary were in the traditional Medicare program.
  • Overall, the savings to Medicare extend the life of the Part A Trust fund by 9 years.

Please, when you talk about Medicare to your constituents, get the facts straight and stop scaring Medicare beneficiaries.  On the whole, Medicare beneficiaries stand to benefit if health reform as proposed is enacted.

Republicans express concern about cuts to Medicare, but their actions don’t always follow their concerns.  Republican Senator Jim Bunning from Kentucky is currently filibustering a bill that would delay the 21% cut in Medicare payments to physicians that is to take effect on Monday, March 1, 2010.  If the payment cut is not addressed, many doctors indicate that they will stop accepting new Medicare payments in their practice.  Instead of protecting Medicare, Senator Bunning’s actions will reduce access to doctors for the 44 million people who rely on the Medicare program.

Entry filed under: Health Care Reform, Medicare.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Judith Stein  |  June 21, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    The checks will be issued each month to those who have hit the Donut Hole coverage gap during the previous time period. But, each beneficiary will only recieve ONE check. I hope hope this helps resolve the confusion.


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Health Policy Expertise

We provide effective, innovative opportunities to impact federal Medicare and health care policies and legislation in order to advance fair access to Medicare and quality health care.

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February 2010


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