SEATTLE — The Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action (PSARA) encourages all union members and community supporters of the Medicare program to attend a “Wall Street Hands Off Our Medicare” rally and picket at 11 a.m. on Friday, July 29 outside the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Regional Office at Columbia Center, 701 5th Ave. in Seattle. Participants will be calling on the Biden Administration to terminate a Trump-era program called ACO REACH.
TAKE A STAND — Share the event flyer and make plans to attend Friday’s rally and picket. Also, please sign PSARA’s letters to President Joe Biden and Washington’s congressional delegation urging them to terminate ACO REACH.
ACO REACH (Accountable Care Organization Realizing Equity, Access and Community Health) sounds great and claims to promote “value-based care,” but most see it as a test to see how a privatization of Medicare would play out. Under this pilot program, Medicare contracts out with Wall Street — private health insurance companies, private equity and venture capital firms — to provide health insurance plans to Medicare beneficiaries instead of Medicare itself.
PSARA and other advocates for seniors and health care say that allowing Wall Street corporations, which are motivated solely by profit and unaccountable to the public, to become third-party administrators of Medicare is a recipe for disaster. They say that Medicare plays a key role in providing health and financial security to 60 million older people and younger people with disabilities, but this critical program would be at risk if Wall Street is allowed to profit from denying care.
At last week’s 2022 Convention of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, union delegates from across the state voted to approved Resolution 2022.02, which that puts the WSLC “on record against the privatization of our Medicare system, for terminating the ACO REACH pilot program, closing the door on third party entities in our Medicare system.”