Coalition Urge Congress to Reject the Medicare Crisis Program Act | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

Coalition Urge Congress to Reject the Medicare Crisis Program Act

Letters to Officials

May 8, 2020

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
U.S. Capitol Building, S-230
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Chuck Schumer
313 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
U.S. Capitol Building, H-204
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
U.S. Capitol Building, H-204
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Leader McConnell, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, and Leader McCarthy:

On behalf of the undersigned organizations, which represent millions of taxpayers around the country, we write urging you to reject the Medicare Crisis Program Act recently introduced by Reps. Pramila Jayapal (DWA) and Joe Kennedy (D-MA).1 This legislation would rely on flawed and struggling federal health programs to cover the recently uninsured, and would open the door to a single-payer, “Medicare for All” program that we believe would do tremendous harm to the fiscal and economic well-being of the United States and further endanger the access to timely, quality care upon which millions of Americans depend.

The Medicare Crisis Program Act would immediately enroll millions of people in Medicare, even though the Medicare Board of Trustees projected just last month that the Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund will be depleted by 2026.2 The bill would also eliminate Medicare premiums for all current and future beneficiaries, thereby starving the Supplementary Medicare Insurance (SMI) trust fund of tens of billions of dollars in revenue per year.3 Make no mistake: the Medicare Crisis Program Act will throw fuel on a raging fire, and will ultimately harm current Medicare recipients the most by putting the program in a dire position in the immediate future.

We are also concerned with the bill’s rapid and aggressive expansion of Medicaid, doubling or tripling income eligibility thresholds for a program that is jointly administered by federal and state governments. The bill’s authors pledge that the federal government will pick up the tab for newly eligible enrollees, relieving states of their share for new enrollee costs, but this is cold comfort for taxpayers who have already seen their representatives commit an extraordinary amount of federal dollars to the current economic and public health emergencies.

We appreciate the unique nature of the COVID-19 crisis, and acknowledge that policymakers have options to assist the millions of Americans who are rapidly losing health coverage from their employer. Our organizations may disagree on the ideal solution to this problem, but we all agree that any solution should be targeted, fiscally responsible, limited in scope and duration, and should focus on keeping individuals and families linked to private health insurance. Proposals to massively expand federal health programs, from the Medicare Crisis Program Act to “Medicare for All,” will harm all taxpayers and patients in the long run.

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