Weigh In Today & Tell HHS to Strengthen & Protect Medicare

Weigh In Today & Tell HHS to Strengthen & Protect Medicare

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued an informal request for information(RFI) in late December, with significant implications for Medicare and Medicaid. Comments are due January 25. Below is an alert from the Medicare Rights Center and their template to use to weigh in. It’s imperative that this Request For Information receive as many responses as possible. The more HHS feels the impact on their attempts to privatize Medicare, the better. Use the template as is, or, submit some of your own personal or client stories for greater impact emphasizing the need for personal assistance with the complexity and large number of choices beneficiaries deal. Read below to learn more details of what’s in the RFI, and what you can do to respond today! Please share among your own networks too.

HHS RFI Targets Medicare, Medicaid

The ASPE RFI was issued to gather information that would “lay the groundwork for future action” arising out of an October 2017 Executive Order (EO). That EO directed HHS to produce a report identifying “the extent to which existing State and Federal laws, regulations, guidance, requirements, and policies” limit choice and competition in the health care system.

While the EO largely focused on the private commercial insurance market, the RFI widens this scope dramatically by specifically focusing on “barriers to choice and competition” within Medicare and Medicaid. This is a troubling shift that could put Medicare and Medicaid—as well as those who rely on these programs—at risk.

Act Now!

Comments are due THIS WEEK, but Medicare Rights has made it easy for you to respond to questions about Medicare. Here’s what you can do to weigh in and raise awareness:

  • Submit Comments: Use Medicare Rights’ template comments to respond by theJanuary 25 deadline. Just download our template, personalize the comments, and submit them via email to CompetitionRFI@hhs.gov. More information on the submission process is available here
  • Spread the Word: Amplify your voice and share this alert widely! Let your friends, colleagues, and networks know you’ve taken action, and encourage them to do the same.
Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.