Press Release             

Contact: Mitchell Clark
Senior Communications Associate

March 19, 2013  

Statement by Medicare Rights Center Federal Policy Director Stacy Sanders on the House Democratic Budget Alternative 

Washington, DC—The budget released yesterday by Representative Chris Van Hollen preserves the promise of Medicare for today’s beneficiaries and future generations. The proposed budget acknowledges the need to rein in health care inflation system-wide, and it roundly rejects the wrong-headed notion that to sustain Medicare, lawmakers must force beneficiaries to pay more for less. 

The House Democratic budget states, “…shifting more health care costs onto Medicare beneficiaries would not reduce overall health care costs, instead it would mean beneficiaries would face higher premiums, eroding coverage, or both.” 

Rather than harmful cost-shifting, the House Democratic proposal offers credible options to create $141 billion in Medicare savings over ten years, including by allowing the federal government to secure better prices on pharmaceutical drugs and by curbing wasteful overpayments to Medicare private health plans. At the same time, the House Democratic plan builds on the value-driven delivery system reforms already underway as part of the Affordable Care Act. 

The House Democratic budget stands in stark contrast to the House Republican scheme to privatize Medicare benefits, essentially requiring older adults and people with disabilities to bear the burden of rising health care costs. Congress must advance the solutions put forth in the House Democratic budget as a blueprint for reinvisioning our health care system. 

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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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