Today is Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Editorials should speak out against Medicare privatization

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U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, Representative Kevin Brady, Chairman, Ways and Means Committee, and Representative Tom Price, Chairman, Budget Committee, who is President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, are among Republican leaders in the U.S. House who support legislation to privatize Medicare by converting it to a "premium support" system. I urge your newspaper to editorialize against their efforts to change Medicare to a "voucher" plan that will raise the cost of health care for seniors.

Just because the Republican Party has majorities in the House and Senate and the President-elect, it is not a mandate to destroy Medicare with a "voucher" plan to pay outright subsidies to insurance companies who make big contributions to many members of Congress.

In April 2011, the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives passed in a 2012 budget blueprint a proposal to replace traditional Medicare with vouchers. This ignited a firestorm of opposition from Congressional Democrats, America's seniors and the general public.

Back then, an analysis of the proposal by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) concluded that turning Medicare over to private insurance plans would result in seniors paying twice as much for their care, would raise administrative costs and would not keep medical inflation as low as traditional Medicare has done.

It is astonishing that after the bashing delivered to Republicans on the "voucher" proposal in 2011 that they would be reviving it again.

Gregory Givens

Mt. Juliet

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