Millions of us seniors and Medicare beneficiaries are quietly being enrolled into a pilot program called “Realizing Equity Access in Community Health (R.E.A.C.H.)”, run by the Dept. of Health and Human Services, which contracts with third-party middlemen. This is occurring without our full knowledge or consent. If left unchecked, the R.E.A.C.H. program could radically transform traditional Medicare within a few years, without input from us and without any Congressional oversight.
Developed by the Trump Administration, the Medicare R.E.A.C.H. program allows commercial insurers and other for-profit companies to “manage” care for seniors enrolled in Traditional (fee-for-service) Medicare. Instead of paying doctors and hospitals directly for seniors’ care, Medicare gives these middlemen a monthly payment to cover a defined portion of each senior’s medical expenses. R.E.A.C.H. investor entities are then allowed to keep what they don’t pay for in health services, a dangerous financial incentive to restrict and ration seniors’ care. While Traditional Medicare requires 98 percent of its budget to be spent on patient care, R.E.A.C.H. requires only 60 percent, thereby allowing up to 40 percent of their budget for their own profit and overhead.
Dr. Susan Rogers, a retired internal medicine doctor and president of the 24,000-member Physicians for a National Health Program said, “This establishes a dangerous incentive to ration and restrict seniors’ care, if left unchecked, R.E.A.C.H. will hand Traditional Medicare to Wall Street investors, without input from seniors, doctors, or even Congress.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), are amongst the Congressional leaders urging President Biden, Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to end this slippery slope to place Medicare into the hands of profit motivated corporations. Medicare must remain a reliable public benefit that offers the highest quality of care to people across America.
1. Please contact Pres. Biden by phone (WH Comments line: 202-456-1111) or by email with this demand:
“This is [your name] calling from [town, state], urging President Biden to end the R.E.A.C.H. program which puts my health care in jeopardy by allowing third party gatekeepers to manage my Medicare. Health & Human Services Secretary Becerra can end R.E.A.C.H. immediately. Please direct him to do so, today!”
2. Call our representatives and ask them to put pressure on Pres. Biden to end R.E.A.C.H.
Senator Schumer (202) 224-6542
Senator Gillibrand (202) 224-4451
Congressman Delgado (202) 225-5614