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re: “Not all Medicare Cuts Are bad” (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/25/opinion/trump-medicare-cuts.html?smid=tw-nytopinion&smtyp=cur)

To the Editor:

Our organizations agree that conserving Medicare resources to preserve the program for generations to come is an important goal. But we cannot support a budget that impedes access to care — and the President’s budget would do just that.

Among the problematic Medicare provisions are those that would make it harder for beneficiaries to obtain care by curtailing appeal rights, increasing out-of-pocket costs, and expanding prior authorization.

Additionally, provider cuts of the magnitude proposed would likely be impossible to carry out without negatively impacting beneficiaries, and unlike the Affordable Care Act’s reimbursement changes, the resulting savings would not be reinvested in efforts to expand and improve coverage.

Notably, these Medicare spending reductions only tell part of the story. Older adults and people with disabilities look to a constellation of programs to stay healthy, many of which — in particular Medicaid and the health care law — would see steep cuts under the Administration’s budget.

People with Medicare and their families deserve better. Working together, we can find ways to reduce health care costs without jeopardizing Americans’ health and economic security.

Judith Stein
Executive Director
Center for Medicare Advocacy

Joe Baker, President
Medicare Rights Center

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