Medicare is under direct threat via a pilot program instituted by disgraced former President Donald Trump in 2019 that could put it in the hands of Wall Street, and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is sounding the alarm.
Known as Direct Contracting, the program features 53 Direct Contracting Entities that are paid monthly by the federal government to cover portions of a patient’s care. Basically, Medicare recipients who usually don’t have to worry about whether their care is covered are being shunted into this program without their knowledge and only part of their care is covered while private investors who run the DCEs pocket the rest. That means the taxpayer dollars we pay to fund Medicare are not being entirely used to pay for care, a large percentage of it is lining the pockets of greedy investors.
In short, the DCEs are for-profit healthcare entities that are chipping away at the traditional Medicare program that has existed and has been popular among Americans for nearly 60 years.
Wall Street profiteers have been itching to get their hands on Medicare for years. And now they have vehicles within the government that could allow them to seize it, a disaster that would result in higher healthcare costs and death.
Warren issued a warning about the program during a hearing this week and urged the Biden administration to shut it down.
“Wall Street is not racing to buy up clinics because they want to expand coordinated care models and limit profits,” Warren said. “Private equity and insurance companies want the eye-popping profits that are possible when the federal government lets them pocket whatever it is they can avoid spending on seniors and people with disabilities who need healthcare.”
“The number of corporate vultures hoping to feed on Medicare continues to grow,” Warren continued. “This invites fiscal disaster, and I hope this administration will reverse this decision. Instead of undermining the system and the benefits that we deliver, we need to crack down on greedy drug manufacturers, on private insurers, and on private equity firms.”
“The Medicare system is hemorrhaging money on scams and frauds,” Warren concluded. “It is critical that we stop the flow, and, if we do, the system will have more than enough money to operate at its current level and increase coverage.”
Indeed, an even better option would be to finally institute universal healthcare coverage in the United States. That would eliminate middleman private health insurance companies for most of the American population and would lower healthcare costs because healthcare would no longer be a for-profit scheme. As long as this DCE program exists, however, Americans stand to lose the only single-payer healthcare program we have and universal healthcare could become even more of a pipe dream. President Biden must end Trump’s DCE program and do whatever it takes to defend Medicare from Wall Street.
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