86.6 F
The Villages
Friday, September 23, 2022

Keep an eye on Medicare privatization

To the Editor:

In 2019 Medicare launched a scheme called Direct Contracting allowing companies to control the healthcare of tens of millions of traditional Medicare and Medicare supplement beneficiaries.
Direct Contracting inserts a for profit company between patients and medical providers. Companies are paid a monthly fee to cover a portion of a patients expenses keeping 40 percent of the fee that’s not spent on patient care. Beneficiaries can be enrolled without their full knowledge or consent and to opt out, a patient must change their primary care doctor. Companies lure doctors with promises of greater reimbursement from Medicare and payments for enrolling their patients into the plan. Companies were granted a waiver that exempts them from certain anti kickback regulations that normally keep doctors from entering their patients in a for profit plan, so doctors can be paid to enroll their patients in the scheme even without the patient’s permission.
The program has no Congressional input, approval or oversight. The General Counsel for the Health and Human Services Department warned that it appeared the new project was set up to benefit specific companies. Since resigning from Medicare two officials involved with planning the scheme have opened businesses that will benefit from Direct Contracting. Medicare admits previous attempts to save money and improve care have failed, costing taxpayers tens of billions of dollars.
Instead of canceling the program, Medicare renamed the scheme calling it ACO REACH, but the same flaws exist.  Medicare expects to cover all traditional Medicare beneficiaries with this plan by 2030, effectively privatizing Medicare.
If the ACO REACH program continues seniors will have their care radically changed, their choices undermined, services denied and care rationed while increasing the chance of bankrupting Medicare. Healthcare should be between patients and their doctors, not companies that have profit as their motive.

Mike Gatton
Village of Hemingway

 

More Headlines
Stories in and around The Villages, Florida

Headlines
The Villages, Florida

Letters to the Editor
Opinions submitted by residents in and around The Villages

Remove all crosses or get over it already

A Village of Hacienda South resident offers her thoughts on the long, emotional battle over the little white cross. Read her Letter to the Editor.

Rentals are great for big families visiting The Villages

A woman whose mother is a longtime resident of The Villages says that rentals are great when the family comes to town. Read her Letter to the Editor.

Free roofs are not free

A Village of DeLuna resident, in a Letter to the Editor, has a message for those who have gotten “free” roofs.

Gov. DeSantis standing up for election integrity

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Osceola Hills resident says she is proud that Gov. Ron DeSantis is standing up for election integrity.

It was an awfully expensive plane ride to Martha’s Vineyard

A Village of Virginia Trace resident asks where were the fiscal watchdogs when Gov. DeSantis spent $12,300 per migrant to fly them from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard?

Photos
The Villages, Florida