Tag Archives: Medicare

Trump’s Ghoulish Threats to Medicare

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Pro-Corporation Rather Than Pro-Patient

Trump’s most recent Executive Order on Protecting and Improving Medicare for Our Nation’s Seniors is the worst kind of evil: the evil you don’t see coming. Disguised as an effort to “save Medicare,” it is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It is a giveaway to corporate insurers who sell Medicare Advantage plans. Now, these corporate insurers have the green light to cherry-pick the healthiest of seniors and others relying on Medicare, and to use all of their tricks to avoid paying the bill — narrow networks, no out of state coverage, high deductibles, etc.
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It is no surprise that Trump would go after Medicare. It is something he campaigned on, after all. But don’t be fooled by the spin! It is actually an attempt to weaken Medicare by allowing Big Business to compete with Medicare and charge more, and make a big profit while they’re at it — and it is subsidized by the majority of beneficiaries who are in traditional Medicare.

“… to the extent there are improvements they are all focused on the private Medicare Advantage plans that are by most measures overpaid compared to normal Medicare,” Paul Van de Water of the liberal think tank Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said of the plan. “The Executive Order continues to privilege the Medicare Advantage plans and make some proposals that could disadvantage two-thirds of the Medicare enrollees.”

Vox, Oct 7, 2019

Read on for the October 3, 2019 Statement of Eagan Kemp, Health Care Policy Advocate, Public Citizen

Note: Today, President Donald Trump issued an executive order that would harm seniors and others who rely on Medicare by weakening protections for seniors in traditional Medicare and undertaking efforts to push more Americans into Medicare Advantage plans, where they may face denials of care and limited doctor or hospital choice. These changes would cost the government more while threatening the long-term solvency of Medicare.

It is unsurprising that this administration would mislead Americans with lies about “Keeping the Government’s Hands Off Medicare,” but that is exactly what this order does. It is just one more example of an administration focused on ending access to affordable health care, whether through sabotaging the Affordable Care Act, seeking to harm immigrants’ access to care or cutting Medicare. The uninsured rate has risen under this administration, due to its reckless and immoral actions.

This order serves only the powerful corporations that seek to profit off the health care of seniors. By continuing to allow Medicare Advantage plans to cherry-pick healthy seniors while leaving the sickest to be covered through traditional Medicare, these plans threaten access to health care for seniors and people with disabilities as well as the solvency of Medicare in the long term. By failing to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for price gouging and patent abuses, this order ensures that Americans will continue paying the highest prices in the world for drugs.

This administration seeks to ensure that health care titans can continue to line their pockets while seniors and working families struggle to get the care they need. As with so many other issues, the president’s health care agenda is bought and paid for by the corporate interests that profit off our broken status quo.

But the people are tired of getting a raw deal. That is why Medicare for All remains popular with a majority of Americans. By improving Medicare and expanding it to everyone in the U.S., Medicare for All would ensure that Americans can finally get the care they need when they need it, regardless of income.

Ferndale Murder-Suicide Exemplifies Why Americans Need Expanded and Improved Medicare for All

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The Seattle Times published David McLanahan’s Letter to the Editor (LTE) last weekend in response to the tragic news about the apparent murder-suicide of an elderly couple in Ferndale, WA who could no longer afford their medical expenses. David represents Physicians for a National Plan-WW (PNHP-WW) on the HCHR-WA Steering Committee.

Dashing off a letter to the editor in response to a news story is an effective way to highlight that single-payer is the cure to our health care crisis to a wider audience. New to writing LTEs? Check out this guide from the League of Women Voters.

A cure for our dysfunctional health-care system

By Letters editor
The Seattle Times

Re: “Murder-suicide is suspected in pair’s deaths” [Aug. 11, B7]:

The news of the elderly couple’s death is another in the litany of tragedies inflicted upon American families by our dysfunctional health-care system.

As the article points out, current Medicare and Medicaid cover only 65% of medical expenses. As well as bearing the discomfort of illness, elderly people face deductibles, co-pays, high-cost medications, other out-of-pocket expenses and oppressive insurance paperwork. They often face the prospect of going bankrupt, losing their life savings, if any, and the prospect of asking family members and friends to help out. We all can understand this couple’s resolution.

The tragic decision facing this family would likely have been averted if they were covered by Improved Medicare for All, such as embodied in Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s H.R. 1384. This legislation would enable all of us to receive the health care we need from birth without any financial worries.

It’s time for all of our representatives — national, state, and local — to follow the lead of their constituents to join us in supporting justice in health care.

David McLanahan, M.D., Seattle

Link to HR 1384 explainer added for your reference.