Editor, MailTribune

Stop the REACH Effort to Destroy Traditional Medicare

Traditional Medicare is our nation’s most efficient healthcare program with administrative costs under 5%. An effort to privatize it – named Direct Contracting Entities (DCE) – introduced by Center for Medicare Service (CMS) met with such opposition that it is being shelved. But rather than protecting traditional Medicare, CMS announced a nearly identical privatization program called “ACO REACH”, to replace it next January.

REACH retains all the toxic elements of DCE: private investor middlemen permitted to charge up to 40% of Medicare payments as profit and overhead; automatic enrollment of Medicare seniors without their consent; medical bill “upcoding” to increase profits; restricting patient care, with the likely outcome of replacing traditional Medicare entirely. Virtually all private firms can become REACH insurers, even Wall Street hedge funds. Beyond increasing allowable profit margins to 40%, other major giveaways further reduce the financial risks of REACH insurers, and threaten the viability of traditional Medicare.

Seniors can help protect Medicare by calling Congress, especially Sen. Wyden, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, to ask him to pressure CMS to kill this dangerous pilot program before it starts killing seniors.

Find more information about the REACH program at Healthcare for All Oregon, Rogue Valley: www.hcao-rv.org

Signed by:

Lauri Hoagland, Chair, HCAO-RV

Ashland, OR

 

 

Ivend Holen, Treasurer, HCAO-RV

Medford, OR