Press Release             

Contact: Nathan Heggem
Senior Communications and
Policy Associate

November 1, 2011

Statement by Medicare Rights Center President Joe Baker on
Hearing of Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction

New York, NY–As the deadline for a deficit-reduction package fast approaches, we ask members of the supercommittee and policymakers at large to remember that people with Medicare already have “skin in the game.” Proposals that increase costs or cut benefits for Medicare beneficiaries can have tragic consequences for their health, quality of life, and financial well-being, as well as the financial well-being of their families and caregivers. Policymakers do have difficult choices to make, but too many in the Medicare population do as well—the choice between medicine and food, or health care and housing. Asking them to bear the burden of deficit reduction will only exacerbate this problem.

The real answer to reining in health care spending is to address costs across the entire health care sector, and to achieve this we must look at delivery and payment system reforms that incentivize quality of care over quantity of services provided. Equally important, increases in revenue must be part of the equation. Asking those with limited means in difficult financial times to contribute more is not only unconscionable, but is also bad policy.

- end -

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter:

Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives.


520 Eighth Avenue, North Wing, 3rd Floor  ∙  New York, New York 10018
1224 M Street, NW, Suite 100  ∙  Washington, D. C. 20005  ∙