Medicare Privatization

Medicare Privatization - 4/28/08

The President publicly tried to prioritize Social Security, but the American people loudly rejected that idea. But the President, much more quietly, has been privatizing Medicare. And if this continues, traditional Medicare, which has worked so well for so long, traditional Medicare will be dead.

Here's the truth that the government is not telling. Since 2003, the government has been paying private insurance plans to lure consumers away from traditional Medicare. You can see, the government gives lots of money to these private plans, which then offer extra services and lower costs to attract new customers.

According to the Government Accountability Office, in 2006 Medicare paid these private plans $59 billion, which was $7 billion more than it would have paid of the people enrolled in these private plans had stayed in traditional Medicare. That's $7 billion B with a AB.@ Remember, this is at a time when Medicare was already under financial stress.

If this massive public give-away to the insurance companies continues, there will only be two possible results. Once, is that premiums, premiums that we all pay, will go up. And that's already happening. Tow, is that the traditional Medicare program will be destroyed. After that, what's to stop the private insurance companies from raising prices and cutting services?

Let me offer a third option. Take the extra $7 billion a year the government's giving away to the private insurers, and use it to shore up the traditional Medicare program. Traditional Medicare provides seniors with a basic health care safety net that must remain solvent and secure.

If you're concerned about the future of Medicare and the give-away to private insurance companies, let your elected officials know. Call them at 202-224-3121.