Press Release             

Contact: Paul Precht
Director of Policy and Communications

Akiko Takano
Deputy Director of Communications

February 26, 2009

Statement of Paul Precht, Medicare Rights Center Director of Policy and Communications,
on the release of the President’s proposed budget for FY 2010

The budget proposed by President Obama today redirects the focus of Medicare spending back where it belongs—the efficient delivery of high-quality health care to America’s older adults and people with disabilities. In recent years, Medicare has become a cash cow for insurance companies, providing taxpayer subsidies that far exceed the cost of providing coverage through Original Medicare. The President’s budget finally ends that bonanza, even as it takes administrative action to ensure people enrolled in Medicare private health plans receive decent benefits.

The savings from increasing the efficiency and quality of Medicare provide a down payment toward covering the tens of millions of uninsured Americans, including the 1.5 million people with disabilities who must wait two years for Medicare coverage to begin.1 The Medicare Rights Center looks forward to working with the Obama administration to ensure that savings generated from its Medicare proposals are also used to make cost-effective improvements to the coverage received by people with Medicare, particularly those living on limited incomes.

1 For more information about the two-year waiting period for people with disabilities, please see

Medicare Rights Center is a national, not-for-profit 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.