Scrap the Medicare Modernization Act!
More than just a drug program, the Medicare Modernization Act is a plan to drive healthier Medicare recipients out of traditional fee-for-service Medicare and into private plans like HMOs, PPOs and private FFS plans, which will profit since their patients will need little care. Traditional Medicare would be left with the sickest, most expensive patients, and would have reduced funding because of fewer patients and stringent new cost controls.
In addition, Medicare would become politically marginalized because the Medicare Modernization Act encourages higher income seniors to leave Medicare, both by charging higher premiums if they stay, and by giving tax reductions if they leave to set up Health Savings Accounts. If Medicare becomes a program for low-income seniors, it will become politically vulnerable to further cuts.
Instead of being ditched, Medicare needs to be expanded to cover everyone. Call it Medicare-for-All, or Single-Payer Healthcare, we need equal, comprehensive, low-cost, government-financed healthcare for everyone. As market-based healthcare continues to melt down, we need to step up to make a new realty happen.
Read more about how the Medicare Modernization Act threatens Medicare recipients and Medicare itself.
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See our SF Gray Panthers webpage explaining the dangers of the Medicare Modernization
For a more complete explanation of the dangers of the Medicare Modernization Act, see the following Center on Budget and Policy Priorities document