By on January 13, 2017

I understand $229 million in lobbying is tough to stand up to, however, we should urge our legislators to not replace Medicare with a “voucher” plan to pay outright subsidies to insurance companies who make big contributions to many members of Congress.

News articles are reporting that U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, Representative Kevin Brady, Chairman, Ways and Means Committee, and Representative Tom Price, Chairman, Budget Committee, who is President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, are among U.S. House leaders who support legislation to privatize Medicare by converting to a “premium support” system. This change in Medicare to a “voucher” plan will raise the cost of health care for seniors.

In April 2011, a proposal to replace traditional Medicare with vouchers was passed. This ignited a firestorm of opposition from Congressional Democrats, America’s seniors and the general public.
An analysis of the proposal by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) concluded that turning Medicare over to private insurance plans would result in seniors paying twice as much for their care, would raise administrative costs and would not keep medical inflation as low as traditional Medicare has done. Why revive it again?

Medical costs are a big chunk of the budgets of Medicare users and Medicare is a big chunk of the federal budget. Costs are continually rising faster than the cost of living. Costs COULD be held in check if the over 54 million Medicare users are used to negotiate lower drug prices, increase insurer competition, and promote transparency to make informed consumer decisions.
Having been on my own with my medical for several years and responsible for choosing my mom’s medicare plan, I learned how difficult it is to get clear cost comparisons for procedures and providers. This would help ALL consumers a great deal

Medicare users account for @ 25% of voters in the next election. And their children are also extremely concerned. Please let your legislators know how you feel on this issue. Remember we the people are up against$229 million in lobbying to Democrats and Republicans alike from pharmaceutical companies and $60 million in campaign contributions from the insurance companies. Make your voice heard.

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