March 3, 2016

Contact: Deane Beebe
VP, Communications & Outreach

Medicare Rights Center Provides Probing Questions to Ask Candidates to Determine their Positions on Protecting and Strengthening Medicare

New York, NY—The Medicare Rights Center today released six questions to ask the 2016 presidential and congressional candidates to find out where they stand on protecting and strengthening Medicare.

“The Medicare program helps countless older adults and people with disabilities, and their families, achieve health and economic security. Before people head to the polls, they need clear answers from the candidates about their positions on these critical Medicare issues,” said Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center, a nonprofit consumer service organization that is the largest and most reliable independent source of Medicare information and assistance in the United States.”

The six topical questions and background information – from filling gaps in Medicare coverage to stemming the rising cost of prescription drugs – are available on the Medicare Rights Center’s website. The questions can be emailed or Tweeted to the presidential candidates as well as posed to congressional candidates.

The key Medicare topics and corresponding questions are:

  • Fill coverage gaps: Are you committed to adding dental, vision, and/or hearing care as Medicare-covered benefits?
  • Stem the rising cost of prescription drugs: What commitments will you make to bring down the price of prescription drugs? For instance, do you support allowing the federal government to negotiate Medicare prescription drug prices?
  • Preserve Medicare for the future: Do you support shifting higher costs to people with Medicare—for instance, through higher premiums or cost-sharing—or turning Medicare into a voucher program, where people buy coverage on the private market with a federal subsidy?
  • Make Medicare more affordable: How will you help people with low and moderate incomes afford coverage?  For example, will you increase access to Medicare cost-assistance programs?
  • Prepare people to enroll in Medicare: Do you support sending a federal notice to all people nearing Medicare eligibility about how to enroll?
  • Make it easier for consumers to enroll in and navigate Medicare: How will you make it easier for people with Medicare to shop for insurance coverage and get answers to pressing coverage questions?

The questions addressing key Medicare issues were derived from the 50 wishes for Medicare’s future that Medicare Rights Center compiled with consumer feedback last summer in celebration of Medicare’s 50th anniversary.

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Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives.

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