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NRLN Presidents Forum – New NRLN Video/Podcast

The NRLN has launched its 2022 Video/Podcast Series 2, Episode 1. titled – Medicare Privatization and Direct Contracting.  We address how Medicare Advantage (MA) private plans have led us Direct Contracting (DC), the latest major threat to Medicare. Wall Street is moving to takeover Medicare.

 

Early in the Video/Podcast I cite a 2018 quote by Warren Buffet, “The ballooning costs of health care acts as a hungry tapeworm on the American Economy.” That tapeworm has morphed into a piranha called privatization of Medicare.

Medicare Advantage has not reduced healthcare costs and Direct Contracting, the latest innovation by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, may be an even bigger disaster.

Over $40 billion of our personal tax payments dollars subsidized Medicare Advantage plan insurance companies in 2021. Medicare Trustees forecast that phony cost-sharing bonuses and rebates will cost Americans $100.8 billion in 2030.

We must convince Congress and the White House to abandon this Wall Street takeover of Medicare and instead declare war on healthcare costs.

Ed comments are on a December 14 article in The Intercept which shed light on the political conniving and money interests involved in the creation of Direct Contracting. Here are a few revelations from the article:

  • Late in the Trump administration, Direct Contracting, a Medicare privatization scheme was set up by Adam Boehler, a director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, also known as CMMI.
  • Boehler was a former dorm-mate of Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law.
  • The Office of the General Counsel for the Health and Human Services Department warned that it appeared as if the Direct Contracting was being set up to benefit specific companies.

You will gain more insights into how Direct Contracting emerged by reading the article posted at: http://www.nrln.org/direct-contracting-medicare-under-attack/  

Most of the rest of the video/podcast is a dialogue of Ed, Jim and I asking Diane questions about Direct Contracting. Among the key point from Diane are:

  • The government is assigning people involuntarily to a Medicare Advantage-like health plan, taking away their Medicare choice and putting insurers between them and their doctors.
  • Over time, if not stopped, this Direct Contracting experiment would end traditional Medicare, which is government-administered, and turn all of Medicare over to insurers and investors.
  • Just like Medicare Advantage plans, Direct Contracting Entities—insurers and investors—are paid a flat rate per enrollee regardless of the number or cost of services they deliver. They therefore have a financial incentive to delay and deny care.
  • We know now DCEs could endanger the health of those 40 million people in traditional Medicare. Unless we can stop this DC effort your health could be at risk.
  • Direct Contracting, as designed, is not an experiment. it’s a wholesale radical transformation of Medicare. Can it save money, can it improve quality? We already have all the evidence we need from Medicare Advantage that it will cost us more and likely decrease quality. But the government is rolling out this experiment in traditional Medicare anyway and it will likely take over Medicare if not stopped or severely limited.

Near the end of the presentation. I ask Please go to www.nrln.org IMMEDIATELY AFTER THIS PODCAST and click on the Respond to Action Alert link (on the red bar) and email the prepared letters to President Biden and their Representative and Senators to demand they kill Direct Contracting that would destroy Medicare.

I closed the presentation saying, our next video/podcast will reveal what we have discovered, how seniors in Medicare are kept in the dark about best prices available when shopping for Medigap plans. Watch for notices of dates, times and subject content on www.nrln.org.

 

Send your feedback on the presentation to contact@nrln.org.

 

Bill, Kadereit, President
National Retiree Legislative Network