Do Not Privatize Medicare
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There is a distinct possibility that legislation to privatize Medicare and Medicaid will be proposed soon based on the solvency of the program. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that “The 2016 report of Medicare’s trustees finds that Medicare’s Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund will remain solvent — that is, able to pay 100 percent of the costs of the hospital insurance coverage that Medicare provides — through 2028. Even in 2028, when the HI trust fund is projected for exhaustion, incoming payroll taxes and other revenue will still be sufficient to pay 87 percent of Medicare hospital insurance costs”.
“The 2028 date does not apply to Medicare coverage for physician and outpatient costs or to the Medicare prescription drug benefit; these parts of Medicare do not face insolvency and cannot run short of funds”.
This report from a non-partisan think tank shows that changes to a Federal Program that has been a success since its inception over fifty years ago, are not required and would reverse President Lyndon B. Johnson’s belief expressed in his statement of July 9, 1965 (upon passage by the U.S. Senate) regarding the effect of Medicare “a great burden will be lifted from the shoulders of all Americans. Older citizens will no longer have to fear that illness will wipe out their savings, eat up their income, and destroy lifelong hope of dignity and independence. For every family with older members it will mean relief from the often-crushing responsibilities of care. For the Nation, it will bring the necessary satisfaction of having fulfilled the obligations of justice to those who have given a lifetime of service and labor to their country” . Secondly, privatizing Medicare would doom the program to the failure of the ACA with unchecked premium increases on Seniors who can least afford them, and result in loss of jobs for employees of HHS.
We, current and future Medicare recipients request that the members of your Committee reject any changes to the current Medicare Program keep the existing program intact as is, thus fulfilling the promise made to us during our lifetime of work and payment into the Program.
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