Minority Press

Casey, Nelson Lead Dem Senators in Urging CMS to Halt Proposals to Hike Medicare Costs

Senators Oppose Concepts That Would Introduce Medicare Vouchers, Private Contracting

Senators Also Press CMS to Maintain Transparency for Posting RFIs

 Read the Letter Here

 Washington, DC – Last week, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Ranking Member of the Special Committee on Aging, and Bill Nelson (D-FL), joined by 16 of their colleagues in a letter urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to halt further consideration of proposals that would increase costs for seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare. CMS recently unveiled a Request for Information (RFI) on proposals to restructure Medicare into a voucher program and require beneficiaries to privately contract with health care providers.

“The rising cost of care continues to burden the already limited financial resources available to [older Americans and individuals with disabilities]…We urge you to heed our concerns and abandon any efforts that would increase health care costs and burden for people with Medicare,” the senators wrote.

According to  the Congressional Budget Office, vouchers would significantly increase costs for Medicare beneficiaries. Most experts predict the voucher would fail to cover the growing costs of health care as people age, causing costs to go up substantially. Private contracting would also increase out-of-pocket costs, forcing some patients to pay more as dictated by their providers.

The following senators have requested a staff briefing on the RFI and have signed on to the letter: Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Al Franken (D-MN), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Tom Carper (D-DE), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala D. Harris (D-CA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ).

Read the letter here.