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Since 1986, the Center for Medicare Advocacy has been a passionate educator and advocate, working to ensure access to Medicare and quality health care. In difficult times, we need your help to be the voice for those people who have nobody to speak for them.



Current Actions (4 –Tax Scam Action; Protect Our Care;Steve Gleason Enduring Voices ActStories Needed; Observation Status Petition)

 

TAKE ACTION!  THERE’S STILL TIME TO BE HEARD ABOUT THE PENDING TAX SCAM THAT THREATENS HEALTH CARE AND EVERYDAY AMERICANS

House and Senate Republicans have been meeting to reconcile their two versions of the tax bill. Reports indicate that the GOP has reached a “deal” on the final bill, which they plan to vote on next week, though the language of the final bill has not yet been released. Democrats have been excluded from these negotiations. Some members of Congress have called on Republicans to delay a vote on their tax plan following Tuesday's special election in Alabama until the Senator-elect, Doug Jones, is seated.

Final votes are expected next week, so there’s still time! It’s not too late to change the course of the awful tax bill that could:

  • Cut Medicare by $25 billion
  • Propel future trillion dollar cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security to pay for these tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations
  • Cause millions to lose health coverage and jeopardize the Affordable Care Act  by repealing the ACA mandate to obtain health insurance
  • Harm everyday Americans and the social compact we all rely on

Speak out against this assault on families and our national values!

Make your voices heard. Tell Congress you oppose their tax bill.

Call your Congressional Representative and your two Senators at 202-224-3121
Tell them you want real tax reform that is good for all Americans!

Time is of the essence. Call now! 202-224-3121

After calling Congress, please help fund the Fight to save Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

Your support is urgently needed. 

Thank you!


1. Senate Set to Vote on tax Cut Bill – Speak Out to Protect Our Care!

The Senate is poised to vote on a tax bill that will threaten the health and economic security of American families and jeopardize the country’s long-standing commitments. 

The Tax Cut & Jobs Act will:

  • Increase the deficit by over $1.4 TRILLION
  • Immediately cut Medicare by $25 billion
  • Set up trillion dollar cuts to Medicaid, Medicare & Social Security to pay for the tax cuts and fix the deficit
  • Lead to 13 million fewer people insured, and to millions more paying higher premiums
  • End the medical expense deduction – hurting at least 4.5 million people with incomes less than $75,000
  • Increase taxes for 47% of families with children

At the end of a rushed and secretive process, Congressional leadership is working to make last minute deals.  But make no mistake – this bill is not fixable – Congress needs to scrap it and start over.

Now is the time to make your voice heard to protect our health care and our families.  

Join the overwhelming number of organizations representing everyday people, including older adults and people with disabilities, which are opposed to this tax cut bill.

Contact your Senators today to tell them not to sacrifice Americans’ healthcare and future well-being to give tax cuts to the wealthy.

  • Reach any Senator through the Senate switchboard at 202-224-3121
  • Or use the toll-free number from Service Employees International Union (SEIU): 866-426-2631

Thank you for helping #ProtectOurCare!


2. An Update on the Steve Gleason Enduring Voices Act

Making permanent the law that provides access to Speech Generating Devices for Medicare beneficiaries

The Bill was introduced in the Senate (S.1132) and House (H.R.2465) in May 2017. In the House, H.R. 2465 was referred to the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Ways and Means Committee. On May 19th, the Bill was referred by the Energy and Commerce Committee to the Subcommittee on Health. In the Senate, the Bill was referred to the Finance Committee on May 16th.

As of July 5th, there are currently 66 Bill co-sponsors in the House https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2465/cosponsors, and 5 in the Senate https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1132/cosponsors.

Please review the co-sponsors of the Bill in the House and the Senate. If your Representative or Senators are not listed, please ask them to become co-sponsors of the Steve Gleason Enduring Voices Act.  You can do this by using this link to our recent Action Alert, and by following up with them personally.


3. We Need Your Stories 

  • Tell the New Administration Why Our National Healthcare Programs Matter!

What have these programs meant to you?  If you could, what would you like to tell policy-makers about your experiences with Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act? How have they helped you?  How would you be harmed if they were taken away?

Tell your stories today at http://www.esurveyspro.com/s/390566/Share-Your-Healthcare-Story.

  • Do you have an Improvement Standard Story?

Under the Jimmo Settlement Agreement, the Center for Medicare Advocacy and Vermont Legal Aid will be monitoring compliance with the terms of the settlement.  We want to hear from you. Please keep us informed of your experiences, both positive and negative.

  • Do You Have an Observation Status Story?

We need to show CMS that this problem affects thousands of people across the country, so in partnership with the John A. Hartford Foundation, we are collecting stories from the people who have been directly impacted. We hope to get at least a few stories from every state.

If you’ve been impacted by the use of “outpatient” Observation Status directly, or know someone who has, please take a few moments to submit your story at http://www.medicareadvocacy.org/submit-your-observation-status-story.

Then tell CMS that they created the problem of Observation Status, and they can fix it – Sign our Petition, below.


4. Observation Status Petition:

 

Other Actions:

Support Medicare Coverage of Hearing Care

A June 2, 2016 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine called hearing loss a public health priority and social health responsibility. The Report’s findings demonstrate the urgent need to update Medicare coverage to reflect the serious health issues that stem from hearing loss.

Hearing loss affects nearly 30 million Americans, but only 1 in 5 people diagnosed with hearing issues have hearing aids – in large part because Medicare currently excludes coverage for hearing aids and related audiology services.  Even mild hearing loss has been shown to double the risk of dementia. Further, hearing loss is directly related to a variety of cognitive impairments, isolation, depression, and increased risk for falls.

Legislation has been proposed which could close this gap in coverage:

  • Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) introduced the Medicare Hearing Aid Coverage Act of 2015 (H.R. 1653), which would allow Medicare to provide coverage for hearing aids.
  • Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) introduced the Medicare Dental, Vision, and Hearing Benefit Act of 2016 (H.R. 5396) which would add hearing, vision and dental services to Medicare.

Contact your Representative today to urge their support for this important legislation.

Oral Health Care is Health Care!

Sign our petition to Remind CMS that Medicare should be covering Medically necessary oral health care.

  • Medicare was created to help older people and people with disabilities.  It should not deny clinically essential or life-saving treatments simply because those treatments occur within the mouth.
  • The Medicare statute does not prohibit coverage for non-routine dental or oral procedures that are medically critical to the treatment of illnesses, diseases, injuries, and health conditions.
  • The Senate Report that accompanied the original Medicare legislation explained that the “specific exclusion of routine dental care” was intended “to make clear that the services of dental surgeons covered under the bill are restricted to complex surgical procedures.”

Other Ways to Get Involved: