Trump Focuses on Propping Up Fraud; Petition to Enroll the Unemployed in Medicare; 2021 Premiums

Public Citizen Has You Covered

TRUMP LETS INSURERS DEFRAUD THE SYSTEM

During the worst pandemic in a century, the Trump administration is focusing on … increasing fraud in the health care system?

The White House announced last week that it would scale back Medicare Advantage financial audits that are vital to detecting billing abuses by insurers. Such audits were predicted to claw back at least $4.5 billion dollars over the next decade.

Under Medicare for All, private insurance corporations no longer would be able to defraud Medicare, because insurance corporations wouldn’t have an opportunity. The policy would remove for-profit companies from the equation and would consolidate Medicare as the single payer, reducing waste and saving the American people time, money and stress.

PETITION: ENROLL LAID-OFF WORKERS IN MEDICARE

A record 16 million people have filed for unemployment since the coronavirus pandemic started. Because in the U.S., health care is tied to employment, millions have been kicked off their private insurance when they need it most.

In response, Public Citizen has launched a petition to demand Congress immediately and automatically enroll in Medicare any American who becomes unemployed during the pandemic.

“With millions of people losing their jobs because of a pandemic, it’s both crazy and immoral for them to be stripped of health insurance,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “If we had a Medicare for All system, this kind of problem wouldn’t occur. But we can’t wait to win Medicare for All. The solution to this immediate problem is to enroll all unemployed people in Medicare.”

INSURANCE SUPERHIKES COMING

Health insurance corporations are planning to raise premiums next year by as much as 40% to recoup the costs of coronavirus treatment and testing.

An analysis from Covered California found that national costs for insurers for coronavirus care could range from $34 billion to $251 billion, or between 2% and 21% of premiums, and that insurers are likely to dramatically raise premiums in 2021 to recoup these costs.

“Consumers will feel these costs through higher out-of-pocket expenses and premiums, as well as the potential of employers dropping coverage or shifting more costs to employees,” said Peter V. Lee, the executive director of Covered California.

Under Medicare for All, no patients or employers would be subjected to paying skyrocketing insurance premiums year after year or need to worry about out-of-pocket costs.

REMINDER:

The American health care system was broken long before the coronavirus pandemic. 

About 40% of Americans who get their insurance through their work had difficulty affording care or covering their medical costs in the past 12 months, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll.