Expansion Of Private Contracting Would Weaken Medicares Financial Safeguards
The executive order also directs the HHS secretary to identify and remove unnecessary barriers to private contracts. Today, Medicare protects beneficiaries from surprise medical bills by limiting the amount that doctors who see Medicare beneficiaries can charge these patients. Physicians may opt out of the Medicare program and enter into private contracts that set higher prices than Medicare will pay in these cases, the patient is responsible for the entire billed amount. However, less than 1 percent of doctors have chosen to opt out of the program, in large part because Medicares rules protect consumers from these arrangements.
For example, doctors must give Medicare beneficiaries written notice that they have opted out of Medicare, and the patient must sign the document acknowledging that they understand they are responsible for paying the entire charge. Doctors may not enter into private contracts with patients who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid or with patients experiencing a medical emergency. In addition, if a physician opts out of the Medicare program, they must do so entirely instead of cherry-picking beneficiaries or services. The opt-out period is a minimum of two years. Together, these limits protect beneficiaries by providing greater certainty about their doctors status and avoiding confusion about which visits and services Medicare will reimburse.
Nypd Union Boss Pat Lynch Underscores Trumps Law And Order Message
Pat Lynch is the president of the Police Benevolent Association, a union with 50,000 active and retired NYPD officers. While it is unusual for him to speak at a political convention, he has been a bullhorn for law enforcement in New York City and around the country, particularly as officers violently clashed with protesters calling for defunding the police.
Lynch has been at loggerheads with the citys mayor, Bill de Blasio, and has generated controversy over the years, such as fiercely opposing the firing of the officer who killed Eric Garner.
His RNC speech was similar to Trumps rhetoric about Democratic-run cities.
Trumps Plan To Privatize Medicare
Last week, President Donald Trump signed an executive order titled Protecting and Improving Medicare for Our Nations Seniors. The order is the latest example of how Trump says one thing while doing another. Rather than strengthening Medicare, Trump envisions turning large swaths of the 54-year-old program for the elderly over to the private sector while directing the federal government to dismantle safeguards on seniors health care access, shift costs onto beneficiaries, and limit seniors choice of providers.
Among other things, the executive order lays out a path to:
- Shift the Medicare program toward private plans
- Expand private contracting between beneficiaries and providers, putting seniors at risk for higher costs and surprise medical bills
- Further restrict seniors choice of providers in Medicare Advantage
- Expand Medicare Medical Savings Accounts as a tax shelter for the wealthy
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News Update For Dec 6 2016
The House Republicans lawsuit against Obamacares subsidy program has been delayed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washington, D.C. Circuit. A judge previously ruled that Obamacare premium tax credits were unlawful because funding did not come from Congress. And further proceedings have been delayed to give Trumps Justice Department time to decide on settling or withdrawing the case.
- If House Republicans win the suit to get rid of premium tax credits, also called cost-sharing subsidies, it could cause insurance companies to sharply raise premiums or exit the ACA exchange markets, since the law requires them to reduce cost-sharing burdens for eligible members in silver plans, as this Modern Healthcare article
- Without a replacement option for cost-sharing funds, this would also prevent insurance companies from receiving payments, and companies would lose out on money they expected to receive.
ACA Repeal on the Insurance Market
GOP lawmakers are slowly coming to terms with the need to take action to protect the individual insurance market from collapse and prevent plans from exiting the market in 2018. Health plan carriers are watching to see if Republicans will delay the elimination of premium tax credits and Medicaid expansion, both of which insurance companies say are the key to making the individual insurance business financially viable.
Obamacare Subsidies and Republican States
A Shift Toward Medicare Privatization
Today, about one-third of seniors are enrolled in private plans through Medicare Advantage the other two-thirds are in traditional, fee-for-service Medicare. The share of beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage has grown over the past two decades. Medicare Advantage attracts a relatively healthier, less expensive pool of enrollees than that of traditional Medicare, and its per-beneficiary spending is lower. Some of that difference is attributable to lower health care utilization, although local market conditions and beneficiary health status also contribute. A number of studies have shown how Medicare Advantage plans profit from selection by attracting relatively healthier enrollees while also gaming the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services risk adjustment program to make their enrollees appear sicker. Medicare Advantage plans also enjoy distinct advantages over the traditional Medicare program, including integrated plan designs and the ability to avoid providers involved in graduate medical education.
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How Can Trump Cut Medicare Benefits
Although Trump represents one branch of government, the executive branch, his budget must be approved by Congress, the legislative branch. Typically by the first Monday in February, the president gives Congress his budget proposal for the next fiscal year. Congress then votes on a final budget. Medicare benefit cuts wont go into effect unless Congress approves them.
Its also important to know that Medicare falls into the mandatory spending category of the federal budget. Medicare benefits are a type of entitlement program which also includes Social Security and Medicaid. According to USA.gov, mandatory spending, including spending on Medicare benefits, typically uses over half of all funding.
When Does Trumpcare Take Effect
The ACHA first had to pass a vote in the House of Representatives, which it did so on May 4 by a margin of 217-213.1 The bill will still need to pass a vote in the Senate before it can be signed into law by President Trump.
Despite passing the House, the bill has stalled at the Senate level, as many GOP senators have balked at approving the ACHA as it was originally written. A committee of senators has been formed to draft a new version of the bill. There is no deadline for this new version, and no date has been set for a vote.
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Trumps Plan To Defund Social Security
Permanently terminating the employee payroll tax along the lines President Trump has proposed would empty Social Securitys trust fund by 2026 or earlier.
On August 8, at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, President Donald Trump announced that his administration is seeking to delay much of the payroll tax that funds Social Security1 of 4 unilateral actions he took in lieu of negotiating with Congress on meaningful economic relief legislation. The president also said that if he is reelected, he wants not only to turn the delay into a tax cut that would result in significant revenue losses for Social Security, but also to eliminate employee payroll taxes for good. As our analysis based on the Social Security trustees projections shows, eliminating employee payroll taxes along the lines that the president has proposed would, absent additional action, completely exhaust the Social Security trust fund by 2026 or earlier and result in steep benefit cuts.
people receive Social Security.
This would drain about $350$450 billion in payroll tax revenue in 2021 and more in later years.
The percentage of promised benefits recipients would receive in Social Security if the trust fund is exhausted
Based on the latest Social Security trustees projections, we estimate:
Seth Hanlon and Christian E. Weller are senior fellows at the Center for American Progress.
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Press Releasetrump Administration Announces Changes To Medicare Advantage And Part D To Provide Better Coverage And Increase Access For Medicare Beneficiaries
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today finalized requirements that will increase access to telehealth for seniors in Medicare Advantage plans, expand the types of supplemental benefits available for beneficiaries with an MA plan who have chronic diseases, provide support for more MA options for beneficiaries in rural communities, and expand access to MA for patients with End Stage Renal Disease . Together, the changes advance President Trumps Executive Orders on Protecting and Improving Medicare for Our Nations Seniors and Advancing American Kidney Health as well as several of the CMS strategic initiatives.
Due to the upcoming June 1, 2020, MA and Part D bid deadlines for the 2021 plan year, CMS is finalizing a subset of the proposed policies before the MA and Part D plans bids are due. CMS plans to address the remaining proposals for plans later in 2020 for the 2022 plan year. We understand that the entire healthcare sector is focused on caring for patients and providing coverage related to coronavirus disease 2019 , and we believe this approach provides plans with adequate time and information to design the best coverage for Medicare beneficiaries.
For a fact sheet on the Contract Year 2021 Medicare Advantage and Part D Final Rule , please visit:
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Trump In Need Of The Senior Vote
The expansion of Medicare appears to be on the forefront of President Trumps mind, as he announced his plans to lower Medicare copays for insulin to a maximum of $35 a month, if re-elected as President, earlier last month. In hopes to gain the older American vote, Trump is making Medicare a top priority in his re-election campaign.
An AP-NORC poll this month found warning signs for Trump with older voters. Fifty-four percent of adults 60 and older said they disapproved of how Trump is handling his job as president, while 45 percent approved.
I hope the seniors are going to remember it, Trump said in hopes to gain the crucial votes of older Americans that he would need to be re-elected.
A Trump Executive Order Ended Subsidies For Obamacare Tax Credits
Trump signed an executive order in October 2017, eliminating subsidies provided to help people pay for their health insurance.
Under Obamacare, tax credits were available to people who earn up to 250% of the federal poverty level . These tax-credit subsidies help cover the cost of annual deductibles in Obamacare marketplace plans.
The executive order signed by Trump did away with those subsidies.
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Executive Order On Protecting And Improving Medicare For Our Nations Seniors
The White House, October 3, 2019
Section 1. Purpose. The proposed Medicare for All Act of 2019, as introduced in the Senate would destroy our current Medicare program, which enables our Nations seniors and other vulnerable Americans to receive affordable, high-quality care from providers of their choice. Rather than upend Medicare as we know it, my Administration will protect and improve it.
Medicare for All would not only hurt Americas seniors, it would also eliminate health choices for all Americans. Instead of picking the health insurance that best meets their needs, Americans would generally be subject to a single, Government-run system. Private insurance for traditional health services, upon which millions of Americans depend, would be prohibited. States would be hindered from offering the types of insurance that work best for their citizens. The Secretary of Health and Human Services would have the authority to control and approve health expenditures such a system could create, among other problems, delays for patients in receiving needed care. To pay for this system, the Federal Government would compel Americans to pay more in taxes. No one neither seniors nor any American would have the same options to choose their health coverage as they do now.
Sec. 3. Providing More Plan Choices to Seniors.
ensure that, to the extent permitted by law, FFS Medicare is not advantaged or promoted over MA with respect to its administration.
Widow Of Retired Police Captain: Violence Destruction Not Legitimate Forms Of Protest
Trump has threatened protesters and often muddled the line between those peacefully demonstrating and those who have exploited the protests.
His daughters told the paper that although their father loved being a police officer and knew Trump supported law enforcement, he was still aware of institutionalized bias as a Black man.
His passion for law enforcement ran deep, said his daughter Lisa Dorn. He was blue through and through, but he also was a man, a Black man, and he knew some not so good things come out of police departments. He tried to make a difference as much as he could, but he was part of a system with systematic racism.
Ann Dorn, in her speech, gave an emotional plea for peace while talking about her late husband, and implored law enforcement agencies to accept federal help from Trump in the wake of protests.
“We must heal before we can affect change. But we cannot heal amid devastation and chaos. President Trump knows we need more David’s in our communities, not fewer,” she said. “We need to come together in peace. And remember that every life is precious.”
A video of unidentified younger voters played at the Republican National Convention on Thursday.
The video featured the voters denouncing liberalism, with some of them saying they had once believed in some of the tenets of the ideology but now support Trump instead.
Its another example of Trump reaching out to disaffected progressive voters, some of whom voted for him in 2016.
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Rncs Third Night Goes All In On Law And Order Message As Protests Against Police Killings Continue
Two things can be true at the same time. One, this presidential election is so consequential, as Democrats and Republicans continue to remind us. And two, the actual campaigns whether its the conventions or the limited campaign activity seem so small compared with everything else.
WASHINGTON Driving President Donald Trump’s “law and order” message, Vice President Mike Pence praised law enforcement on the third night of the Republican convention Wednesday against the backdrop of protests sparked by a police officer shooting a Black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
“Law and order are on the ballot,” Pence continued. “The choice in this election is whether America remains America.
Wife Of Retired Police Captain Killed In George Floyd Protests Who Gave Emotional Plea Is Exploiting His Death Daughters Say
The daughters of David Dorn, a retired police captain who was shot and killed outside a burglarized St. Louis pawn shop during protests stemming from George Floyd’s death, told The St. Louis American that his widow is exploiting his death to bolster President Trumps agenda.
We know his wife is a Trump supporter, but he was not, Debra White, his daughter, told the paper, referring to his widow, St. Louis Police Sgt. Ann Dorn. He frequently said they were not able to talk about politics, because they were at the opposite ends of the spectrum. I know he would not want his legacy to be for his death to be used to further Trumps law-and-order agenda.
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How Will Trump’s Budget Affect Medicare Part D
Initial reports on Trump’s 2020 budget in March of 2019 suggested reformations on Medicare Part D, notably eliminating provisions to do with negotiating drug prices on protected classes of prescription drugs. As of May 2019, the party has changed its stance on this after many recipients voiced their disagreement. While Trump’s Medicare Plan still aims to lower prescription drug prices, this reverse may make that goal more challenging to achieve. In short:
- The budget intended to change a requirement that Part D cover protected classes of prescription drugs in six categories, regardless of price. This allowed Medicare patients to access this needed medication, often for chronic conditions, without breaking the bank.
- The issue with this is that while the law protects Medicare D beneficiaries, it does not stop pharmaceutical companies from raising prices on the drugs to unaffordable heights and increasing the cost to run the program.
- The new plan would have placed the onus on drug companies to regulate themselves and avoid overcharging on protected classes of drugs.
- The Trump and the Republican party budget has since walked back changes on this front, and for now, it remains in place as is.
However, despite this setback, some changes are still in the works, including reducing out-of-pocket costs for some higher-spending patients and raising premiums for patients whose drug spending is deemed too high.
Biden: Trump Keeps Pouring ‘gasoline On The Fire’ Of Violence
WASHINGTON Joe Biden said Thursday that President Donald Trump is “rooting for more violence, not less” because he thinks it benefits him politically.
In an interview on MSNBCs Andrea Mitchell Reports, the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee reacted to Vice President Mike Pences speech at the Republican National Convention Wednesday night in which he said that people wont be safe in Joe Bidens America.
Biden added about Trump, He views this as a political benefit to him, you know. He’s rooting for more violence, not less, and it’s clear about that. And what’s he doing, he’s kept pouring gasoline on the fire.
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