Medicare Resolution

      1024 1024 34th Democrats

      Adopted by the membership on April 13, 2022 at the monthly membership meeting.

      Whereas, Medicare has been our national health care system for seniors and the disabled in the United States since 1965; and

      Whereas, Medicare beneficiaries are among the most vulnerable populations served by our health care system, and need more, not fewer, benefits and protections; and

      Whereas, traditional Medicare, which does not insert a middleman between the Medicare beneficiary and their chosen health care provider, is a public good and should not be privatized; and

      Whereas, Wall Street has long sought to profit from public benefit programs, such as Social Security, and has rushed to buy up Accountable Care Organizations managing traditional Medicare services; and

      Whereas, the Trump administration opened the door to the complete privatization of Medicare through a Direct Contracting pilot program allowing private equity firms, insurance companies, and corporate health businesses to directly contract to provide Medicare services; and

      Whereas, the Biden administration ended the Direct Contracting pilot and rebranded it as the ACO REACH (Accountable Care Organization Realizing Equity, Access, and Community Health) pilot to begin in January of 2023; and 

      Whereas, public health advocates across the country see little difference between ACO REACH and the Direct Contracting pilot, since both pilot programs allow third party private entities to wedge themselves between patients and their healthcare providers and to draw down the Medicare Trust Fund by making huge profits in several ways, including weakening services for Medicare beneficiaries; and 

      WHEREAS, addressing the healthcare resource inequities suffered by BIPOC individuals and communities is best done within the traditional Medicare system and not through a privatized ACO REACH style program; 

      NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the 34th Legislative District Democratic Organization opposes privatization of our Medicare system; and supports terminating the ACO REACH pilot program and closing the door on third party entities in our Medicare system; and

      BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, a copy of this resolution be sent to the Washington State US Senators and Congressional Delegation, and  to President Biden and US Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra.

      Submitted by Karen Richter, 34th LD Democratic Organization member and Co-Chair of the Outreach Committee. Karen also serves as Co-President of Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action (PSARA}