News Release

Biden Should Halt Trump Privatization of Medicare Moves


DIANE ARCHER, via Linda Benesch,
Archer is president of Just Care USA, an independent digital hub “covering health and financial issues facing boomers and their families and promoting policy solutions.” She is the past board chair of Consumer Reports and serves on the Brown University School of Public Health Advisory Board. Benesch is communications director of Social Security Works.

Archer just wrote the piece “The Ghost of the Trump Administration Is Haunting Medicare,” which states: “In the last quarter of 2020, the Trump administration’s Department of Health and Human Services launched an experiment, euphemistically called, ‘direct contracting,’ that could fully turn Medicare over to private health insurers. The Biden administration needs to halt this experiment before millions of older and disabled Americans lose their right to choose traditional Medicare.

“Traditional Medicare — public insurance administered by the federal government — has been a hallmark of Medicare since the program was first enacted in 1965. Under traditional Medicare, the government sets rates for doctors and hospitals, sets the conditions for coverage, and pays providers directly. Public insurance is cost-effective, reliable, transparent and publicly accountable.

“Most important, traditional Medicare guarantees people access to care from the doctors and hospitals they choose anywhere in the country. It is designed to meet the needs of healthy older adults and people with disabilities as well as those with complex medical conditions. No corporate health insurer profits from denying care or second-guessing treating physicians.

“Nonetheless, the Trump administration has outsourced Medicare to insurance companies and other for-profit middlemen, placing them between Americans and their doctors. The experiment could assign millions of people who elected traditional Medicare to a corporate health plan that works like Medicare Advantage, the Medicare private health insurance choice, with fewer consumer protections. …

“Allowing for-profit insurers to restrict access to care in traditional Medicare is a dangerous social experiment with the health and lives of the most vulnerable older and disabled Americans. It’s bad policy, a government giveaway to Wall Street, and a betrayal of the most basic principles of Medicare. Congress has given every older and disabled American the right to choose traditional Medicare. The Biden administration should immediately kill this toxic legacy of the former president.”