New York Says No

May 25, 2011 at 5:40 pm Leave a comment

New York voted for Medicare yesterday. In a traditionally Republican district, Democrat Kathy Hochul won a special election for an open Congressional seat. The major issue in the campaign was the budget recently passed by Republicans in the House of Representatives that eliminates Medicare as a defined benefit program.  Candidate Hochul opposed this change, recognizing it for what it is –  an end to Medicare.  Voters agreed with her. 

The New York vote reminds us that Americans value Medicare.  They understand that the Republican Budget won’t save Medicare; it will replace it with individual vouchers toward the cost of purchasing private insurance. 

Under the Republican plan, beginning in 2022, people who become eligible for Medicare would instead receive a voucher, worth about $8,000.  No one knows what private plans would be available for purchase, what geographic regions would be included, or what health services and providers would be covered.  We do know that Medicare guarantees certain coverages, and it has worked to bring quality health care to older and disabled people for 46 years.  When Medicare was enacted in 1965, half of all Americans 65 or older had no insurance.  Private insurance did not want to cover them.  Now, because of Medicare, 95% of people 65+ are covered.

Yesterday, Joe Courtney, the Congressman who represents the district of the Center’s home office also said yes to Medicare and  no to vouchers. ( VIDEO: Courtney decries GOP plan to end Medicare as we know it.) 

Fortunately, when Kathy Hochul takes her seat in Congress to represent New York, Congressman Courtney will have another ally in efforts to preserve Medicare.

Entry filed under: Health Care, Medicare, Medicare Reform, Public vs. Private Health Coverage, Vouchers. Tags: , , , .

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