How Would Premium Support (Voucher) Changes to Medicare Affect Dialysis Patients?

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The New York Times stated that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects savings of $716 Billion from Medicare alone over the next decade. Savings of this magnitude have never before been achieved, and achieving them will present new difficulties for beneficiaries of Medicare such as dialysis patients. The present debate in Congress is how to accomplish these savings. For example, will they be achieved through competition or through "top down" reductions in payments to service providers for dialysis.

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One of the approaches that is being seriously considered is the Voucher Plan which would be a tremendous step backward for dialysis patients. Not only would you have to be concerned about whether vouchers would cover the entire cost of the insurance, but you would also have to worry about how to pick the right insurance plan. This approach will throw dialysis patients into the nightmare of having to come up with the out of pocket expense where their selected insurance falls short.

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The present Medicare program, from a dialysis patient standpoint, serves this community well. The insurance and claims process is completely transparent to patients, and there are few worries about what services will be covered. Ask yourself, "Why would we want to disrupt this program that serves us so well."

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If there are ways to better finance Medicare to ensure its solvency, lets do so without resorting to an approach that is so clearly detrimental to dialysis patients such as vouchers and premium support programs. We must begin organizing around this issue, because if we don't, we may very well lose this critical battle. recommends that you contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives by clicking here to let them know you want them to protect Medicare as it basically serves you today.   

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