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NRLN Action Alert - Tell Congress Do Not Give Taxpayer Subsidies to Insurers for Privatizing Medicare

September 24, 2019 1:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

NRLN Action Alert

Tell Congress Do Not Give Taxpayer Subsidies to Insurers for Privatizing Medicare

Click here to tell your members of Congress Do Not Give Taxpayer Subsidies to Insurers for Privatizing Medicare.

NRLN retiree association and chapter members attending the NRLN fall Fly-In to Washington, DC, September 23-25, will be advocating during their meetings on Capitol Hill that Congress should not be giving taxpayer subsidies to private insurers for Medicare Advantage plans to move Medicare toward privatization.

From 1997 to 2018, Congress provided Medicare Advantage (MA) $380 billion in subsidies paid to insurers for making low bids and 50% quality bonuses for 2 Stars out of 5 Stars Ratings. The NRLN believes this is a foolish effort to privatize Medicare! Car dealers wouldn’t be subsidized for making low bids or get bonuses for meeting warranty terms.

The April 2019 Medicare Trustees’ Report disclosed expenditures per MA plan enrollee in 2018 at 103% of those for original Medicare enrollees, before adjustments for cherry picking.

MA plan gross margins are $1,608 per MA plan and two times individual and group plans. Net income for MA plans is 20% higher.

In 2018, the Bipartisan Balanced Budget Act authorized HHS to add MA benefits costing $16.5 billion annually for chronic care benefits like changing air filters and shampooing carpets for asthma patients, but didn’t provide them to original Medicare patients.

It is a disgrace that Congress and HHS added benefits to MA while denying them to 38.2 million seniors in original Medicare. Authorizing these benefits for only 21.3 million seniors in MA plans is discriminatory. It’s immoral, unethical and in conflict with the President’s promise not to touch Medicare benefits.

Fly-In attendees will be advocating that those benefiting from prior MA subsidies be protected and to extend new chronic treatment benefits to original Medicare enrollees or rescind new MA benefits. Then, terminate wasteful MA privatization subsidies and reduce, not shift, healthcare costs to enrollees.

By emailing the NRLN’s sample letter to your U.S. Representative and Senators, they will be made aware that when Fly-In attendees meet with them and/or members of their staffs that their constituents support what the NRLN is advocating.

Other issues on the Fly-In’s Capitol Hill lobbying agenda are supporting bills that will reduce the cost of prescription drugs and supporting passage of the Social Security 2100 Act to fund the program for the next 75 years. The Social Security 2100 Act was the subject of last week’s NRLN Action Alert and is still available for responses where this new Medicare Action Alert is posted on the NRLN website.

Bill Kadereit, President                           Bob Martina, VP – Grassroots
National Retiree Legislative Network     National Retiree Legislative Network
Here are the easy steps to follow on this Action Alert:

  1. If you have a problem with the link above, go to Under the top Action Alert notice, Congress Should Not Give Taxpayer Subsidies to Insurers for Privatizing Medicare, click on “Take Action” then enter your street address and zip code and click “GO”. It will present the sample letter for you to email to your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative. If you have a problem with this link, go to and click on the red flashing icon “Respond to an Action Alert” near the top of the NRLN website home page. When the Action Alert appears, click on the “Take Action” link. Enter your street address and zip and click “GO” and follow the steps to email the NRLN’s sample letter.
  2. When you have accessed the sample letter, to the left of the letter are windows to type in your contact information required by members of Congress so they know they are receiving an email from a constituent. If you have sent previous NRLN emails to your members of Congress your contact information may be automatically displayed.
  3. Personalize the letters by editing in your own comments.
  4. Click on the "Preview" button and the letter addressed to your two Senators and Representative will appear. Their names will be automatically added in the letter’s greeting. Check to make sure the letters appear correct and then click "Send".

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