March 22, 2013
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I am writing to urge you to vote for S. Con. Res. 8, the Senate Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Resolution.
We support this budget, introduced by Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray, because it addresses the country’s economic concerns without asking the most vulnerable among us – Americans who depend on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – to pay a significantly higher portion than the wealthiest two percent.
S. Con. Res. 8 is in sharp contrast to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s plan (H. Con. Res. 25), which would turn Medicare into an under-funded voucher plan and block grant Medicaid. In addition, Chairman Ryan’s plan repeals the Medicare benefit improvements in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and raises the eligibility age for Medicare.
S. Con. Res. 8 proposes a number of sensible changes. First, it suggests permanently reforming the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula which too frequently threatens doctors with huge cuts in the reimbursement they receive for treating Medicare beneficiaries. Second, S. Con. Res. 8 recommends replacing the sequester of payments to health care providers required by the Budget Control Act of 2011. Fixing the SGR formula and replacing the Medicare sequestration would help ensure that seniors continue to have access to their trusted physicians. Moreover, we are pleased that S. Con. Res. 8 reaffirms the investment we made in the ACA to expand Medicaid in the states, and to help people with modest incomes purchase health insurance.
The Senate Budget Resolution instructs the Finance Committee to report legislation which would raise $275 billion in Medicare cost savings “…in a way that does not harm seniors or families.” We commend Senator Murray for clarifying that this instruction would be achieved without cutting Medicare benefits. To that end, the National Committee urges the Senate to realize health care cost savings by requiring drug manufacturers to provide rebates for drugs used by people dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, allowing Medicare to negotiate Part D prescription drug prices and building on the improved Medicare efficiencies included in the ACA.
We urge you to support the Senate Budget Resolution because it proposes a responsible, balanced deficit reduction plan without cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits for seniors, people with disabilities and working families.
President and CEO