Archive for April, 2011

Save Medicare by Ending It?

Save Medicare by Ending It? Reduce the Current Deficit with a Plan for 2022?

The Budget introduced by Rep. Ryan and passed by Republicans in the House of Representatives would eliminate Medicare as of 2022. Instead of guaranteeing coverage for specific health care, like Medicare does, the Ryan Budget would provide a voucher to each eligible person to buy private insurance. The voucher would be worth a flat dollar amount. There is no guarantee that someone would be able to buy insurance for that amount or that if insurance is available, the insurance would cover and pay for the same services as Medicare.

A voucher system is nothing like Medicare. You can’t save Medicare by eliminating it. And you can’t solve today’s deficit problems with a plan that begins in 2022.

This time, we’re not buying it!*

* See, Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, (April 27, 2011)

April 28, 2011 at 7:42 pm Leave a comment

President Obama Supports Medicare

Thank you, President Obama, for proposals that strengthen Medicare. We are so pleased, and relieved, to have a leader in the White House who’s drawn a line, refusing to pretend the elimination of Medicare and Medicaid are necessary to protect America’s future. Instead, he’s called for real, shared responsibility and is continuing efforts to provide affordable health care for all.

The President’s framework for fiscal responsibility protects the integrity of Medicare and Medicaid by building upon the progress made in the Affordable Care Act to cut overall health care costs. His proposals strengthen both programs while achieving savings by addressing Medicare physician payment reforms; reducing overpayments; improving care for those who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid; and focusing on wasteful spending and cost growth.

The President was explicit about his vision for Medicare and Medicaid when he said:

…”let me be absolutely clear: I will preserve these health care programs as a promise we make to each other in this society. I will not allow Medicare to become a voucher program that leaves seniors at the mercy of the insurance industry, with a shrinking benefit to pay for rising costs. I will not tell families with children who have disabilities that they have to fend for themselves. We will reform these programs, but we will not abandon the fundamental commitment this country has kept for generations.”

The Center for Medicare Advocacy applauds the President for his work to preserve Medicare, Medicaid and the well-being of American families who are already struggling in today’s economy. We thank the President for recognizing that fiscal responsibility for the federal government does not mean eliminating programs like Medicare and Medicaid that work to provide access to health care for vulnerable populations. Nor does it mean saving federal dollars by shifting costs to states, families and taxpayers.

What a breath of fresh air!

April 13, 2011 at 10:02 pm Leave a comment

Rationing Medicare & Health Care?

The budget released on April 5th by the House of Representatives purports to benefit Main Street Americans.

Once again we’re hearing proposals to “reform” Medicare and to cut the federal deficit. These plans are not about reform or even dedicated to deficit reduction. They are about a long held desire to do away with Medicare, shifting costs to American families who are already struggling.

Newt Gingrich said in the 1990s that he might not be able to eliminate Medicare, but he could watch it wither on the vine. This time, the House of Representatives’ Republican budget actually does eliminate Medicare, replacing it with vouchers to purchase private insurance.

This proposal is reckless and extreme. As with Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D, it will cost beneficiaries and taxpayers more than the traditional Medicare program. With a capped annual voucher to purchase insurance, Medicare beneficiaries will pay more out-of-pocket, get less coverage, and have less access to health care.

Sounds like rationing to us.

April 6, 2011 at 4:24 pm Leave a comment

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.

Judith A. Stein, Executive Director

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April 2011


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