Verma Slams Popular Progressive Rallying Cry Saying ‘Medicare For All’ Would Become ‘Medicare For None’
CMS Administrator Seema Verma said a "Medicare-For-All" system would divert attention away from seniors, and warned that people would be giving up complete control of their care to the government. Verma gave the speech in California, where the issue is a hot-button topic in the gubernatorial election.
The Associated Press:
Trump's Top Medicare Official Slams 'Medicare For All'
The Trump administration's Medicare chief on Wednesday slammed Sen. Bernie Sanders' call for a national health plan, saying "Medicare for All" would undermine care for seniors and become "Medicare for None." The broadside from Medicare and Medicaid administrator Seema Verma came in a San Francisco speech that coincides with a focus on health care in contentious midterm congressional elections. (7/25)
Top Trump Health Official Slams 'Medicare For All'
"Ideas like 'Medicare for all' would only serve to hurt and divert focus from seniors,” Verma said. Verma said the focus of Medicare should be on seniors and disabled individuals and that expanding the program to cover younger, healthier people will drain the program of funding and deprive seniors of the coverage they need. “By choosing a socialized system, you are giving the government complete control over the decisions pertaining to your care or whether you receive care at all. It would be the furthest thing from patient-centric care,” Verma said. (Weixel, 7/25)
Verma Will Reject Any Single-Payer State Waivers
Thirty-three of the 57 Democrats who won primaries in swing districts this year expressed support some form of Medicare for all, according to data from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. Nearly two-thirds of that group use the term in their campaign materials and just over a quarter are running in districts that President Donald Trump won. Verma said the focus of Medicare should be on seniors and disabled individuals, and she is concerned that moving millions more people into the program will cause the program to unravel as its finite funds would dry up. Earlier this year, the White House estimated that the Medicare trust fund will be insolvent by 2026, three years earlier than prior estimates. (Dickson, 7/25)
Top Trump Health Official Takes Swipes At ACA, Single-Payer In Enemy Territory
Stepping into the land of the Trump resistance, Seema Verma flatly rejected California’s pursuit of single-payer health care as unworkable and dismissed the Affordable Care Act as too flawed to ever succeed. Speaking Wednesday at the Commonwealth Club here, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said she supports granting states flexibility on health care but indicated she would not give California the leeway it would need to spend federal money on a single-payer system. (Terhune, 7/26)
Verma: 'Medicare For All' Would Mean 'Medicare For None'
The debate over single payer in California has played a central role in the state's gubernatorial election. Expanding health care to all residents is a key campaign goal for Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the leading candidate. A single payer bill passed the Senate last year but has remained stalled in the Assembly. (Colliver and Cancryn, 7/25)
In other news from CMS —
CMS Proposes Slashing Clinic Visit Payments As Part Of Site-Neutral Policy
In a massive outpatient payment rule, the CMS on Wednesday proposed expanding its site neutral payment policy to clinic visits, a move that could save the agency hundreds of millions of dollars. Clinic visits, or checkups, are the most common service billed under the outpatient pay rule. The CMS often pays more for the same type of clinic visit in the hospital outpatient setting than in the physician office setting. (Dickson, 7/25)