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  • Support the Medicare Advantage Participant Bill of Rights Act (HR 4998/S 2552) today!

    This vital legislation was introduced in July, 20I4 by Rep. Rosa Delauro (D-CT) and Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). The Bill would prohibit Medicare Advantage plans from dropping doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers after the annual enrollment period, when Medicare beneficiaries choose plans. It would limit Medicare Advantage (MA) plans from changing their network of health care providers, just as beneficiaries are limited in their ability to change plans. The Bill would also require MA plans to notify beneficiaries if their physicians or other health care providers will no longer be in their MA plan and, in some instances, would require plans to assist in finding alternative care. In some circumstances MA plans would also be required to inform physicians if they are being dropped and provide an opportunity to appeal.

    Rep. DeLauro says: "We have a responsibility to ensure that Medicare Advantage plans are serving the needs of their participants...and to ensure they are putting the care of their enrollees ahead of their profits."

    Sen. Brown says: "(American Seniors) deserve a strong Medicare program that protects their rights along with their health and wellbeing."

    Join us in urging Congress to pass the Medicare Advantage Participant Bill of Rights Act (HR 4998 / S 2552) today! People with Medicare deserve assurance that they can see the doctor they need to see.

  • Don’t Let Medicare Take Away Severely Disabled People’s Ability to Communicate!

    John, in Colorado, has ALS, cannot speak, and cannot use his fingers. John needs "eye gaze technology" to communicate. This means that John looks at large letters on an oversized "keyboard" screen to spell what he wants the machine to speak.  According to Medicare, John will be able to use the device to "speak" to someone in the same room, but John will not be able to use his own money to "upgrade" the device to allow him to call his doctor, email his children in another state, or text his wife when she’s away from the house. While John is losing his functioning to ALS, Medicare is taking his ability to communicate with everyone in the outside world. Also, if John enters a healthcare facility, Medicare will not pay for his speech device to go with him.

    Recent changes to Medicare are drastically reducing the ability of the most vulnerable people with disabilities to communicate.

    As of April 1, 2014, Medicare began denying payment for many of the medically necessary speech generating devices used by people with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Cerebral Palsy, Spinal Cord Injuries, and other impairments, when they enter a health care facility, such as a skilled nursing home or hospice. Taking these highly specialized devices away leaves them no way to communicate at a vulnerable and terrifying time.

    On September 1, 2014, many severely disabled individuals will have all contact with the outside world cut off. For many years, Medicare allowed individuals using Medicare-provided speech generating devices to use their own funds to "upgrade" the devices. This allowed them to communicate beyond the confines of their room through email, internet, and text messages. After September, Medicare will no longer pay for any device that has the potential to be upgraded to allow communication outside the room

    Currently, Medicare routinely denies coverage of the critical eye-gaze technology necessary by some people to operate these speech devices, even when its medical necessity is well documented.  They have no way to communicate as a result. After years of waiting for an appeal to Medicare, the eye-gaze coverage is routinely allowed, but individuals should not be forced to wait years without a voice. 

    We need your "voice!"

    Please enter your zipcode below and fill out the subsequent form to contact your Congressperson, Senators, and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, to prevent further devastation to the most vulnerable people living with disabilities. 

  • Support the Medicare Advantage Participant Bill of Rights Act (H.R. 4998 / S. 2552)

    Stop Medicare Advantage plans from cutting doctors, specialists, hospitals and others without notice for the Medicare beneficiaries who rely on them!

    Contact Congress today and tell them to support the Medicare Advantage Participant Bill of Rights Act (H.R. 4998 / S. 2552) sponsored by Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). Here's how:

    1. Call your legislators using the numbers below (shown after you insert your zip code), and tell them:

         •   Your name
         •   Your town
         •   Tell them if you, your provider, or someone you know has been dropped from a Medicare Advantage plan.
                  •   If so, tell them what happened as a result, financially, physically or emotionally
         •   Tell them to support the "Medicare Advantage Participant Bill of Rights Act" so Medicare Advantage plans can no longer cut providers without notifying beneficiary and providers first.

    2. Send a Letter - Enter your zip and we'll provide a letter to your legislators that you can send with a click, or, even better, edit it to make it more personal!

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  • Make the Qualified Individual (QI) Program Permanent

    More than half a million Medicare beneficiaries rely on the Qualified Individual (QI) program to pay their Part B premium. Reauthorization for the QI program is attached to the Medicare physician payment formula, known as the "Sustainable Growth Rate" (SGR), and has been extended each year with SGR. As bi-partisan, consensus emerges in Congress on a permanent fix to the flawed SGR Medicare physician payment formula, it is essential that a permanent extension of the QI program be a part of any agreement.

    Without QI, many beneficiaries simply will not be able to afford their Part B premium and may consider dropping Part B, seriously limiting their access to doctors, therapy services, and durable medical equipment. Without QI, low-income seniors and people with disabilities may be forced to choose between necessities like warm clothes and nutritious food, and Medicare premiums. We applaud Congress for its attempts to fix the flawed SGR formula. However, it must also permanently ensure financial protection for poor Medicare beneficiaries.

    Contact your Congressperson today and let them know how important it is that permanent QI be a part of any permanent SGR fix.

  • Observation Status is in the News - Now is the time to End it!

    With growing mainstream media coverage on the issue of Observation Status (NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, 1/9/2014), there has never been a better time to end Observation Status.

    You've spoken out on this issue before, but let's drive the point home! Here are two ways you can help again – pick either, or both!

    1. Call your legislators using the numbers below (shown after you insert your zip code), and tell them:

         •   Your name
         •   Your town
         •   That you hope they saw the problem of Observation Status on NBC Nightly News on January 9, but if they didn;t they need to know that the improper use of observation status is illegal, harmful and unfair, and forces Medicare beneficiaries to absorb costs that otherwise would be paid for under Medicare Part A
         •   tell them if you, or someone you know, was placed under Observation Status
                  •   If so, what happened as a result, financially, physically or emotionally
         •   Tell them to support the "Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2013" so people get the coverage they deserve

    2. Send a Letter - Enter your zip and we'll provide a letter to your legislators that you can send with a click, or, even better, edit it to tell your story!

  • Fair Prices for Prescriptions = Fair Pay for Physicians!

    Year after year congress has passed a short-term physician payment package instead of permanently fixing the unfair payment formula for doctors who treat Medicare patients.  This year could be different.

    Today, in Congress, there's a real solution for this ongoing problem.  Senator Rockefeller's Medicare Drug Savings Act of 2013, which you recently sent a letter asking Congress to support, will save Medicare $140 billion over 10 years – almost the exact amount needed to permanently fix the physician payment formula and fairly pay doctors who treat Medicare patients.

    Join us.  Use the form below to Tell Congress you support finally fixing the formula by which Medicare pays physicians (it's called "SGR"), but that the cost of doing so cannot be shouldered by older and disabled people.

  • Educate Staff and Concerned Constituents on ACA Implementation

    Please send legislators the letter below.

  • *********** Insert action title here ************

    ***********  INSERT SIMPLE ACTION DESCRIPTION HERE ****************

    Use the form below to email your Senators and Represenatives, or call them today.

  • Fair Prices for Prescriptions = Fair Pay for Physicians!

    Year after year congress has passed a short-term physician payment package instead of permanently fixing the unfair payment formula for doctors who treat Medicare patients.  This year could be different.

    Today, in Congress, there's a real solution for this ongoing problem.  Senator Rockefeller's Medicare Drug Savings Act of 2013 will save Medicare $140 billion over 10 years – almost the exact amount needed to permanently fix the physician payment formula and fairly pay doctors who treat Medicare patients.

    Join us. Use the form below to Tell Congress you support finally fixing the formula by which Medicare pays physicians, but that the cost of doing so cannot be shouldered by older and disabled people.

  • Ryan Budget... More of the Same

    The House of Representatives’ budget resolution that members are voting on today pushes extreme policies that benefit private corporations at the expense of older and disabled Americans. The budget would undermine the traditional Medicare program that millions depend on, and instead hand them a voucher and a bill for their care.

    • The budget resolution shifts costs to older and disabled Americans.
    • The budget would end traditional Medicare.
    • The budget doesn't actually help the federal deficit.

    Make no mistake: The House budget is not new, and not good. It repeats what Representative Ryan offered last year, and the year before.  It hurts American families while handing over Medicare and taxpayer dollars to insurance companies.

    Call and email all your Representatives NOW using the form below. Tell them that you value traditional Medicare, and won't let it "wither on the vine."

  • Medicare, Not Vouchers!

    The budget resolution that House Republicans unveiled pushes extreme policies that benefit private corporations at the expense of older and disabled Americans. The plan would undermine and erode the traditional Medicare program that millions depend on, and instead hand them a voucher and a bill for their care.

    • •  The Republican plan shifts costs to older and disabled Americans rather than protecting them.
    • •  The plan would end traditional Medicare and make the pool of beneficiaries in the program smaller, older, and sicker — and ever more expensive to cover.
    • •  The plan doesn't actually help the federal deficit any more than health care reform has already!

    Make no mistake: The Republican plan is nothing new, and nothing good. It hurts American families at a time they can least afford it, while handing over taxpayer dollars to insurance companies.

    Write your Senators and Representatives today using the form below. Tell them that you value traditional Medicare, and won't let it "wither on the vine."

  • Say NO to the Ryan-Wyden Plan for Medicare

    Use the convenient form below to tell Congress the Ryan-Wyden plan won’t do anything to reduce overall health care spending, which is the real problem. Instead, it will likely lead to reduction in benefits and increased cost-sharing for Medicare beneficiaries.

    • Private plans have not saved Medicare money, are more complicated, and often cost more than traditional Medicare.
    • Forcing traditional Medicare to compete with private, for-profit plans is a recipe for disaster. Private plans will lower rates to woo the least costly beneficiaries and those more expensive to treat will remain in traditional Medicare, creating an environment that’s likely unsustainable.
    • It’s traditional Medicare — not private plans — that has been the leader in innovations to keep health costs down and increase quality. 

    Don’t be fooled into thinking this proposal protects and preserves Medicare – it eliminates a unified program.

    Medicare is better and stronger without the Ryan-Wyden plan.

  • Now is the Time to End "Observation Status"

    Here are two ways you can help – pick either, or both!

    1. Call your legislators using the numbers below (shown after you insert your zip code), and tell them:

         •   Your name
         •   Your town
         •   The improper use of observation status is illegal, harmful and unfair, and forcesMedicare beneficiaries to absorb costs that otherwise would be paid for under Medicare Part A.
         •   If you, or someone you know, was placed under Observation Status
                  •   If so, what happened as a result, financially, physically or emotionally
         •   To support the "Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2013" so people get the coverage they deserve

    2. Send a Letter - Enter your zip and we'll provide a letter to your legislators that you can send with a click, or, even better, edit it to tell your story!

  • Tell Congress and the Administration: We Can Fix Medicare AND the Deficit

    Help us by calling on the President/Congress to adopt our common-sense solutions as a responsible step in reducing our deficit the right way.

    As lawmakers debate this policy and the future of Medicare as part of broader efforts to address the federal deficit, it's critical to remember that Medicare Works!  Our common-sense solutions promote choice and competition while shoring up the solvency of Medicare.

    Enter your zip code below to send a letter to help us protect Medicare today, and strengthen it for the future.

  • Tell Congress and the Administration: Reform Medicare & Medicaid, Don't Cut Them!

    87 million Americans receive health coverage from either Medicare or Medicaid. Of those, over 80% say that the quality of their health care is excellent or good. That's nearly 70 million potential voters who don’t want you to cut their health care.

    It's time for all policy-makers, to embrace real solutions that save money and STRENGTHEN these programs:

    ·       Negotiate Drug Prices with Pharmaceutical Companies - Negotiating drug prices for Medicare would save taxpayers billions of dollars – potentially over $200 billion over ten years.

    ·       Stop Paying Private Medicare Plans Anything More Than Traditional Medicare - Medicare pays, on average, 10% more for beneficiaries enrolled in private insurance (Medicare Advantage or MA plans) than for comparable beneficiaries enrolled in traditional Medicare. That's just wasted money.

    ·        Include a Drug Benefit in Traditional Medicare - Traditional Medicare's lower administrative costs would free up money for quality care, would result in lower drug prices for beneficiaries, and save taxpayers over $20 billion a year.

    ·       Extend Medicaid Drug Rebates to Medicare Dual Eligibles - Extending rebates for dual eligibles would save at least $30 billion over ten years.

    ·       Let People Between 55 and 65 Enroll In Medicare - Allowing this healthier population to enroll in Medicare would add revenue for people who will typically need less care and fewer services than older and disabled enrollees.

    ·       Let the Affordable Care Act Do Its Job.  Repealing or defunding ACA would add $230 billion to the deficit while ignoring the real issue of rising overall health care costs in our country.

    Tell the administration and Congress that if they allow Medicare and Medicaid to be cut, 2012 will be a very hard year.

  • Let's Really Save Medicare: Ask Your Senators to Vote No on Ryan Budget
    Save Medicare by Ending It?  Reduce the Current Deficit with a Plan for 2022?  Really?

    Comparing Apples & Oranges

    The budget introduced by Rep. Ryan and passed by Republicans in the House of Representatives would eliminate Medicare as of 2022. Instead of guaranteeing coverage for specific health care, like Medicare does, the Ryan Budget would provide a voucher to each eligible person to buy private insurance. The voucher would be worth a flat dollar amount. There is no guarantee that someone would be able to buy insurance for that amount or that if insurance is available, the insurance would cover and pay for the same services as Medicare.

    Let’s stick with what we know: Medicare works.

    Use the following form to Contact your Senators today.

  • Health Reform Makes Medicare Stronger - Help Keep it That Way

    Tell Congress to suport health reform, not weaken or repeal it.

    Send the letter below, or edit it to tell your own story.

  • Seize the Day - Use Your Voice to Pass Health Reform

    Today we are the closest we have ever been to fixing our unfair and ineffective health care system. We must seize this opportunity to pass health reform.

    Use the form below to let your representatives know that you support their efforts to achieve comprehensive health reform legislation, which will improve Medicare, expand health insurance coverage to millions of Americans, help people purchase insurance, and end discriminatory practices by insurance companies.

  • Let Congress know that you want health care reform passed now!

    Having seen the same old debates continue at the health care summit, there is no better time than now to tell Congress to use reconciliation to pass health care reform to expand coverage.

    Congress has used the reconciliation process before to:

         -- Pass COBRA to ensure unemployed people keep their health coverage;
         -- Establish protections for nursing home residents;
         -- Create a health insurance program for children;
         -- Expand the role of private insurance offerings in Medicare;
         -- Change Medicaid eligibility.

    Budget reconciliation can be used now to create health care reform that will:

         -- Expand health insurance to 31 million Americans;
         -- Make insurance more affordable for everyone, including closing the prescription drug coverage gap known as the “donut hole” for Medicare beneficiaries;
         -- Protect against discriminatory practices by insurers;
         -- Reduce fraud and waste;
         -- Reduce the deficit by $100 billion over the next 10 years.

    Show your support.  Write Congress today.

    It's about our health, our economy, and our quality of life. It's about all of us.

  • Real Health Care Reform Must Include a Public Plan Option

    Please consider sending the letter below to tell your elected officials that health care reform must include a true public plan option. A public plan option is essential to true reform because it is rooted in access for all, comprehensive care, community, and cost effectiveness.

    True health care reform must include a public plan option. Without it we lose and private insurance companies win. Without it we lose real change that improves access for everyone, supports comprehensive care and coverage and fosters healthy communities at a price taxpayers can afford.

    A public plan option will improve access:

    • -- Like the successful public Medicare program, the plan should be available to all throughout the United States.
    • -- Premiums should be affordable, with reasonable cost-sharing, with subsidies for lower income people, and with adjustments for regional cost differences.
    • -- Everyone should be able to move freely between whatever plans are offered.

    A public plan option will improve care:

    • -- Health care benefits should be at least as broad as in traditional Medicare.
    • -- Greater emphasis should be placed on primary, preventive, and coordinated care.
    • -- Benefits for mental health, dental services, vision care and eyeglasses, hearing aides, and long-term care should be offered or phased in.

    A public plan option will support healthier communities:

    • -- Education and training should be offered to providers to assure that treatment and patient education is culturally relevant, in order to assure positive health outcomes and minimize the need for more expensive care down the line.
    • -- The public plan should include financial payments to providers for offering interpreter services and for translation of materials into the major languages of the enrollees whom they serve.

    A true public plan option is essential to real reform. Without it, we will have lost the opportunity for health care reform.

    Send a letter today.

  • We Need Real Health Care Reform


    With a public option and a standard set of benefits across all private and public plans, everyone will be better able to access coverage they can understand, at a price taxpayers can afford.  It’s about our health and our quality of life. It’s about all of us.

    Use the letter below to tell Congress today -- health care reform needs a true public health insurance option.  

    Including a personal note about your experiences with health care and Medicare is strongly encouraged.