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− Media Advisory −

The questions you need to ask to get the answers you need

The Center for Medicare Advocacy has released a series of questions for citizens and journalists to ask candidates this election season – to find out where they stand on Medicare and health care issues.

“Medicare and our health care system are at a cross roads. The upcoming election is critically important to their future,” said Judith Stein, founder and executive director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy. “The Center hopes to help people understand Medicare and the Affordable Care Act, and distinguish fact from fiction when they listen to or question candidates and pundits. We want everyone to be informed about these issues. We hope the Center’s suggested questions and information will be a good place to start.”

The full list of questions is available at: http://www.medicareadvocacy.org/take-action/questions-to-ask-your-candidate/  and are included below for easy reference.

Please contact Lauren Weybrew at lweybrew@douglasgould.com or call 914-833-7093 if you’d like to speak with a representative of the Center for Medicare Advocacy.  Learn more about the Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc. at http://www.medicareadvocacy.org

Medicare:

1. How will you protect the future of an effective Medicare program for generations to come?

2. Are you in favor of privatizing Medicare? 

3. Are you in favor of increasing the age of Medicare eligiblility?

  • If so, to what age and how would this be implemented?

To replace Medicare, a voucher program has been proposed by Congressman Paul Ryan and others, and has been passed by the House of Representatives. According to the Congressional Budget Office, under such a plan, the value of each individual’s Medicare voucher would leave Medicare beneficiaries with a gap of $1,200 per year in health care costs – which they would need to cover out-of-pocket. This figure jumps to almost $6,000 per year by 2050. Yet, most older and disabled citizens live on fixed incomes.

4. Do you favor such a voucher plan (also known as “premium support”) for Medicare? If so:

  • When would such a plan begin?
  • How would older and disabled Medicare beneficiaries cover the gap between the value of their voucher plan and what they are actually charged for their medical care.
  • Would you anticipate the amount of the voucher increasing over time?
  • Most in Congress say they oppose rationing care.  Since many older and disabled people will not be able to supplement the value of their voucher plan to pay for expensive health services, wouldn’t the voucher plan result in rationing?
  • Please explain how a voucher system would provide the same level of coverage as the current Medicare program?

Affordable Care Act

1. Are you in favor of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?   What steps are you going to take to ensure the law is effectively implemented?

If the candidate does not agree with ACA:

  1. How would you replace ACA to ensure the same level of coverage for people who are uninsured or underinsured?
  • What would you say to all of the people who are being helped by ACA and saving money because of it?

3.  What goals do you want to achieve to advance fair access to health care?

4.  Are you in favor of Medicare negotiating the prices it pays for prescription medications?

5.  What proposals do you have to help bring down the overall costs of health care?

6. When Medicare was enacted many people were concerned it was a "government takeover" of health care. Today, many people express similar concerns about the Affordable Care Act, although most greatly value Medicare.

  • Do you think that in time, the American people will come to value the Affordable Care Act as they have with Medicare?  If not, why?

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The Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc., established in 1986, is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that provides education, advocacy and legal assistance to help older people and people with disabilities obtain fair access to Medicare and necessary health care. We focus on the needs of Medicare beneficiaries, people with chronic conditions, and those in need of long-term care. The organization is involved in writing, education, and advocacy activities of importance to Medicare beneficiaries nationwide.

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