Leadership Council of Aging Organizations Urges Senators to Support the Medicare Protection Act
July 9, 2014 01:00 PM
The Leadership Council on Aging Organizations (LCAO), a coalition made up of close to 70 organizations including NAHC that focus on helping older Americans, is urging Senators to support S. 2491, the Medicare Protection Act. Introduced by Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR), S. 2491 would require a 60 vote threshold in the Senate to change or modify the Medicare program – for example to change the age of eligibility, modify Medicare to become a voucher program, cut Medicare payments, or impose home health copayments.
Currently the Senate can use a special procedure known as “budget reconciliation”, requiring only a simple majority vote, to alter or modify Medicare. Social Security is protected from this procedure; this bill would extend similar protection to Medicare.
S. 2491 currently has 20 cosponsors, and the LCAO letter urges others to support this legislation. According to the letter:
“S. 2491 expresses that the Medicare age of eligibility should not be increased, and that the Medicare program should not be privatized or turned into a voucher program.
We believe these protections are warranted given that most people with Medicare live on modest incomes, and already contribute a significant share of their limited incomes to health care costs….
Fast track budget reconciliation procedures should not be used to diminish the value of earned Medicare benefits, or to worsen the already tenuous economic circumstances facing many people with Medicare. We believe that budget rules should protect programs fundamental to advancing the health and economic needs of older adults, people with disabilities, and their families. In closing, we urge you to pass the Medicare Protection Act (S. 2491).”
NAHC supports S. 2491, and urges Senate passage.
To read the full letter, please click here.