Medicare Protects Us All

Before Medicare was enacted in 1965, many people lost their health insurance when they retired. Insurance companies were reluctant to write policies for older adults, and 48 percent of those age 65 and older were uninsured.  The insurance policies that were available only provided limited coverage.  Today, Medicare covers 55 million Americans, and 98 percent of those age 65 and older are insured.  Medicare has successfully provided access to healthcare for millions of older adults while protecting them from ruinous healthcare costs.  Medicare faces continuing challenges, but there are changes we can make to strengthen Medicare, including eliminating the exemption from “best price” rebates that drug companies are already required to provide state Medicaid programs and the Veterans Administration.  This legislative change will require that our leaders in Washington stand up to the drug companies, their PACs, and their lobbyists.

Murkowski Supports Privatization of Medicare

Rather than improving Medicare, Lisa Murkowski has repeatedly voted for the “Ryan Budget,” which will convert Medicare into a complicated and unworkable voucher system.  Older Americans would have to use vouchers either to buy private insurance or buy into Medicare, which would have to develop its own premium structure.  Depending on the mix of prices, beneficiaries may have to use their own funds in addition to their vouchers to remain in Medicare.  Growth in Medicare spending would be limited by a formula that is below the typical annual increase in healthcare costs so vouchers would purchase less and less coverage every year.  People would lose coverage and pay more under this complex, unworkable formula.  

I am against converting Medicare into a voucher system.  Most Alaskans are dependent on Medicare or are counting on receiving it when they retire.  Medicare benefits must be 100 percent protected, and taxpayers must be protected from the corporate welfare that goes out the backdoor in Washington.  We need leaders in Washington who can push back against drug companies and special interests.  That is why I am running as an Independent and why I am not accepting corporate PAC money.

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