Indivisible Tacoma has signed on to the Resolution below and urges members to write letters to our US Senators, Representatives, and the Biden Administration.
The sample letter under the Resolution can be used to guide your own letter.
RESOLUTION TO STOP PRIVATIZING OUR MEDICARE SYSTEM
Whereas, since 1965 Medicare has been our national health care system for seniors and the disabled in the United States; and
Whereas, Medicare beneficiaries are among the most vulnerable populations served in health care, and need more, not fewer benefits and protections; and
Whereas, traditional Medicare holds sacred the relationship between Medicare beneficiaries and their chosen health care provider; and
Whereas, traditional Medicare, is a public good, and should not be privatized; and
Whereas, Wall Street has for decades tried and failed to privatize our Social Security system; and
Whereas, the prospect of Wall Street getting a piece of what is projected to be $ 1.6 trillion of annual Medicare spending by 2028 has led to a rush to buy-up Accountable Care Organizations for managing Medicare services; and
Whereas, the Trump administration opened the door to the complete privatization of Medicare through a Direct Contracting pilot program allowing private equity firms, insurance companies, and corporate health businesses to directly contract to provide Medicare services; and
Whereas, the Biden administration ended the Direct Contracting pilot and rebranded it as the ACO REACH (Accountable Care Organization Realizing Equity, Access, and Community Health) pilot to begin in January of 2023; and
Whereas, public health advocates across the country see little difference between ACO REACH and the Direct Contracting pilot, since both pilot programs allow third party private entities to wedge themselves between patients and their healthcare providers and to draw down the Medicare Trust Fund by making huge profits in several ways, including weakening services for Medicare beneficiaries; and
Whereas, nothing in the ACO REACH pilot spells out a systemic way to address the real inequities suffered by BIPOC individuals and BIPOC communities due to historic under resourcing; and
Whereas, addressing real equity issues can be done within the traditional Medicare system; now therefore be it
Resolved, that Indivisible Tacoma goes on record against the privatization of our Medicare system, and for terminating the ACO REACH pilot program, and closing the door on third party entities in our Medicare system; and be it further
Resolved, that Indivisible Tacoma sends a copy of this Resolution to our two US Senators and Congressional House members in their jurisdiction, as well as to President Biden and to the Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra.
SAMPLE LETTER from the Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action:
Dear Senator or Representative ________,
We request that you send a strong message to the Biden administration calling for termination of the Trump administration Medicare Direct Contracting (DC) pilot program which has now been rebranded under the Biden Administration as ACO REACH.
With little difference between the Direct Contracting pilot and ACO REACH, this program represents the final push to totally privatize our Medicare system.
We would like you to join us in saying Hands off our Medicare!
We want you to say no to privatizing our Medicare system and no to third party managers getting between seniors and the disabled and their doctors or other health care practitioners.
For decades Wall Street has attempted and failed to privatize our Social Security System. We have stopped these attempts in Congress. Now Wall Street is looking forward to privatizing the Medicare system.
The DC/ACO REACH program has created a major financial incentive for privatization. Under this program private equity firms, private insurers, and health care businesses see an enormous opportunity to profit from the traditional Medicare system at the expense of the Medicare Trust Fund and Medicare beneficiaries.
That is why they are so supportive of the ACO REACH program. The Medicare capitated fee program and “managing” health care services for individual Medicare beneficiaries has proven to be a major money maker.
Given that the administrative costs for traditional Medicare are around 1.5%, private sector entities rushing into to the Medicare service business are either woefully inefficient, or they will get to keep an obscene amount of our Medicare taxes and premiums for their profits/reserves.
We cannot allow third party profit seekers between seniors and their chosen health care providers. And yet that is precisely what will happen under the DC/ACO REACH program. We cannot allow the quality of health services for seniors to decline, but that is financially incentivized through this privatization effort.
This is no less than the plundering of our seniors’ earned benefits, workers’ Medicare taxes, and the Medicare Trust Fund by Wall Street and highly profitable health care businesses.
According to Medicare and Health Care experts the only equity in the DC/ACO REACH pilot is in its name. Nothing in the pilot parameters speaks to rightsizing decades of under-resourcing the healthcare needs of our BIPOC communities and BIPOC seniors. If we want to address real equity, then let’s do so under traditional Medicare.
We hope to meet with you and your staff in the near future to discuss this further.