The Stand

Trump order decried as ‘backdoor privatization’ of Medicare

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 4, 2019) — President Donald Trump unveiled a new executive order on Thursday that calls for expanding participation in private Medicare plans, known as Medicare Advantage, as an alternative to Democratic presidential candidates’ calls for “Medicare for All” policies.

Nancy Altman, President of Social Security Works, issued this statement Thursday in response to Trump’s executive order:

“Medicare Advantage is a hustle designed to allow for-profit corporations to suck up public dollars. For years, Republicans have shoveled money into Medicare Advantage plans and allowed them to offer benefits that traditional Medicare is forbidden from covering. This is a ploy to push seniors into Medicare Advantage plans instead of traditional Medicare. Medicare Advantage is stealth privatization intended to undermine traditional Medicare, which is an effective, popular government program and therefore loathed by Republican ideologues.

“Under the Trump Administration, the thumb on the scale has turned into an entire arm. They’ve been flooding seniors’ inboxes with advertisements for Medicare Advantage. What these emails don’t mention is that Medicare Advantage plans often have narrow networks, restricting which doctors and hospitals patients are allowed to use. Worse, a recent government report found that Medicare Advantage plans improperly deny care ‘in an attempt to increase their profits.’ It’s no surprise that older, sicker seniors are more likely to drop Medicare Advantage plans.

“Medicare Advantage plans are also a terrible waste of public dollars. They have overcharged Medicare by $30 billion in the past three years alone.

“Today’s executive order is yet another giveaway to the corporations that run Medicare Advantage plans. Ironically, the Trump Administration is framing the executive order as an attack on Medicare for All. In fact, the massive flaws of Medicare Advantage epitomize the need to get for-profit greed out of health care by improving Medicare and expanding it to cover all Americans.

“Medicare, like Social Security, works. Republicans want to privatize both of them. We have to stop them and instead, expand both.”

Short URL: https://www.thestand.org/?p=80587

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