Author Archive

Tax Cuts and Cuts to Medicare & the Social Compact

Center for Medicare Advocacy Executive Director Judith Stein was recently featured in the New York Times explaining how the devastating tax bills will lead to devastating cuts to Medicare and the social compact we all rely on.

Re “Republicans Are Coming for Your Benefits,” by Paul Krugman (column, Dec. 5):

Make no mistake: The tax cuts for corporations and wealthy people that Congress is determined to pass will lead to major cuts to health and economic security for the rest of us.

The Congressional Budget Office anticipates that Medicare alone will be cut by $25 billion in 2018, and the bills also set up future cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The tax legislation would also increase taxes for millions of households with yearly incomes below $200,000.

American families will be expected to pay the price for the trillions added to the federal deficit. Indeed, Senator Marco Rubio said recently that passage of the tax bill “will mean instituting structural changes to Social Security and Medicare.”

Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Congress will have to cut so-called entitlement programs. That’s code for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Most people and families won’t benefit from these tax cuts. Yet most will be harmed by the spending cuts needed to pay for them. Instead of gutting the social compact Americans rely on, Congress should work to pass true tax reform that helps all Americans and invests in a better future for everyone.

December 12, 2017 at 4:02 pm Leave a comment

2016 National Voices of Medicare Summit and Senator Jay Rockefeller Lecture

Join us as we celebrate 30 years of Medicare advocacy  and plan for the future!

April 1, 2016
​8:30 am – 5:30 pm

Kaiser Family Foundation
Barbara Jordan Conference Center
1330 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005

We are delighted to announce that Senator Jay Rockefeller will join us at the 2016 National Voices of Medicare Summit to speak briefly, answer questions and personally introduce Ms. Tamera Luzzatto, who will be giving this year’s Senator Jay Rockefeller Lecture.

And this year’s program is bigger than ever, with panels including:

  • Good Morning Medicare!

After a brief welcome, the morning will open with an address from, and an opportunity to talk with Sean Cavanaugh, the Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Medicare at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.  After his talk, Mr. Cavanaugh will be available for a question and answer period.

Sean Cavanaugh, Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Medicare at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • Best Practices in Advocacy and Caregiving

What practices are working to ensure older people and people with disabilities have access to, and coverage for, necessary health care?  This panel will bring together leading advocates with national leaders representing caregivers and individuals needing care.  The group will explore best practices from multiple perspectives within the health care delivery system.

Moderator: Toby S. Edelman, Senior Policy Attorney, Center for Medicare Advocacy
Leslie Frane, Healthcare Director, Service Employees International Union
Sarita Gupta, Co-Director, Caring Across Generations
Sarah Lenz Lock, Senior Vice President for Policy, AARP
Ted Thompson, CEO, Parkinson’s Action Network

  • A Values-Based Approach to Medicare Redesign

“Medicare Reform” is a term we hear frequently, but generally that seems to mean cutting benefits and increasing costs to beneficiaries.  What would Medicare redesign look like if it was focused on both serving beneficiaries and ensuring a stable and comprehensive Medicare program?  We’ve assembled a panel of national Medicare policy experts with decades of combined experience in areas of health care financing, public policy, and Medicare reform.  The panel will explore various factors that must be weighed in developing a truly consumer-focused redesign.

Moderator: David Lipschutz, Senior Policy Attorney, Center for Medicare Advocacy
Judy Feder, Professor & Former Dean, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University
Marilyn Moon, Director, Center on Aging, American Institutes for Research 
Patricia Neuman, Senior Vice President, Kaiser Family Foundation
Judith Stein, Executive Director, Center for Medicare Advocacy

  • Senator Jay Rockefeller Lecture – Introduced by Senator Jay Rockefeller

In recognition of her extraordinary public service in advancing access to affordable health and long term care in her work with Senator Rockefeller, the Pepper Commission, and former Senator Hillary Clinton, the Center for Medicare Advocacy is honored to have Ms. Tamera Luzzatto, Vice President of Government Relations at The Pew Charitable Trusts delivering this year’s Senator Jay Rockefeller Lecture.

  • Recent Advocacy Highlights & Challenges

What’s happening today in advocacy for older people and people with disabilities?  What’s on the horizon?  What challenges are beneficiaries and their advocates facing today and what are they preparing to face in the near future?  From challenges accessing necessary benefits, equipment and oral health care to efforts regarding audiology and hearing aid coverage, this panel will assess the current landscape faced by advocates and the people they serve.

Moderator: Kathy Holt, Associate Director/Attorney, Center for Medicare Advocacy
Ben Belton, Senior Advisor to the Acting Commissioner, Social Security Administration
Peter Thomas, Principal, Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville
Larry Coffee, DDS, Founder & CEO, Dental Lifeline Network
Clare Durret, Executive Director, Team Gleason
Max Richtman, President and CEO, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare

  • Show Time!  30 Years of Medicare Advocacy

Based on the Weekly NPR news quiz show, this interactive panel is guaranteed to be both informative and fun.  Using a “Lightning Round” format, it will review the last 30 years of Medicare and advocacy aimed at supporting a strong Medicare program and meeting the needs of beneficiaries.  Attorneys from the Center for Medicare Advocacy will start us out, but be forewarned — you could be called upon!

Moderator: Judith Stein, Founder/Executive Director, Center for Medicare Advocacy
Center Attorneys and Colleagues

  • Be sure to stay, as a special guest kicks off the Center’s 30th Anniversary to close the day.

And of course, you will hear real voices of Medicare beneficiaries, and enjoy plenty of networking opportunities.

Register now ($225)

March 15, 2016 at 8:06 pm Leave a comment

Why We Can’t Support the Senate SGR Bill

The Senate is poised to vote on the SGR repeal (“Doc Fix”). The Center for Medicare Advocacy has reluctantly concluded that we cannot support this bill. It will not only continue to move Medicare towards private plans and make Medicare more expensive for all, it will also jeopardize access to therapy for people with on-going conditions.

As attorneys for the national class in Jimmo v. Sebelius, we are particularly concerned about the amendment to repeal the therapy caps. We strongly support a repeal. But the repeal amendment we have seen replaces the cap with a prior authorization – a gatekeeper system that could limit access for patients, particularly those in need of on-going therapy.

Regrettably, for all these reasons, we can not support the Senate SGR bill. We hope for opportunities to improve it in the future.

April 15, 2015 at 3:57 pm Leave a comment

Trustees Report: Medicare IS Solvent

The Medicare trustees reported good news for Medicare today. The Trustees’ annual report finds the life of the Medicare Trust Fund has been extended another four years since their 2013 report, and an additional 13 years from their last projection before the Affordable Care Act passed. The annual report[1] confirms that Medicare continues to provide cost-effective health insurance for more than 50 million older and disabled beneficiaries – and that the Affordable Care Act strengthened Medicare.

Medicare provides health insurance and access to needed care for most Americans age 65 or older and those with significant disabilities. The 2014 Trustees Report confirms that Medicare is working well and will be in fine shape for the foreseeable future. The Trustees conclude benefits are expected to be payable in full until 2030, four more years than they projected in May 2013.

“The Medicare Trustees’ favorable forecast is attributable to slowing health care costs, the recovering economy and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The Trustees Report answers skeptics and demonstrates that Medicare is healthy. It continues to be an efficient, cost-effective program that Americans can count on for future generations. It should be protected as one of our great success stories.” said Judith Stein, executive director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy.

The positive outlook for the Medicare Trust Fund is certainly good news. There are opportunities to further improve Medicare’s well-being without reducing benefits or cutting services. Congress could secure the program’s future even more by reducing wasteful overpayments to private Medicare Advantage plans, and by obtaining the best rates possible for prescription drugs.

[1] Read the full report at http://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/ReportsTrustFunds/index.html.

July 28, 2014 at 10:55 pm Leave a comment

Corporations Don’t Bleed

Too often people with low and moderate incomes fail to get the health coverage they need.  Women are frequently harmed the most.  In addition to their own health concerns, they are usually the gender responsible for family-planning and family care-taking.

The Supreme Court’s decision in Hobby Lobby reduces women’s rights and erodes women’s access to health care.  In Hobby Lobby, the Court found that “closely held” corporations needn’t provide health insurance for their employees if it would violate their religious beliefs  Incredibly, the decision advances corporate rights over women’s rights.  And it advances the notion that corporations are people too – with religious beliefs!

Corporations don’t bleed; they don’t get pregnant; they don’t take care of children and parents.  Women do.

Congress:  Take action.  Reconsider the Religious Freedom Restoration Act at the heart of the Hobby Lobby decision.

Women, Men, people who bleed, get sick, and take care of others who do:  Speak out against this injustice.

July 2, 2014 at 4:47 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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