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house Bill H.R. 2506

Should Seniors Be Able to Keep Medicare Plans that the Government Says are Crummy?

Argument in favor

This bill would keep seniors from losing their health coverage. It protects a very vulnerable population — maybe their plans are below Medicare's standards, but that is better than no health care at all.

Elinor's Opinion
···
07/01/2015
We cannot possibly trust the government to determine what is "crummy" for us. Look at the garbage they continually dump on us: Obamacare is a big one. Add the SS fund that we must pay into, while Congress steals from it for other purposes and then claims it is underfunded. Medicaid and Medicare are programs that provide only minimal --if that! -- health care and rip off both patients and healthcare providers. Forced participation in these programs is NOT required of federal politicians and employees. For this, we must ask, "Why?" Federal government leaves us the dregs of their decisions and OUR FUNDING.
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Mickb's Opinion
···
07/01/2015
For most seniors i know money is tight yes better coverage can save more but when you have to choose between coverage and much needed medication thats not a real fix. Some is better then none. till congress can find a good fix this is the best option i feel.
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John's Opinion
···
06/30/2015
If they like their Healthcare plan, they should be able to keep it. Congress should fully repeal the ACA, but gut every aspect piece by piece in the mean time! Legislation passed by the President and entire Democrat Congress through lies and procedural gimmicks should never be allowed to stay in place.
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Argument opposed

This bill allows seniors to stay with subpar health coverage contracts, leaving some of America’s most vulnerable and honored citizens in a precarious position. Instead of putting the problem off until 2019, Congress needs to agree on a real solution.

Michael's Opinion
···
07/03/2015
As a nurse, I will say that... Although the fear mongers will try to keep the un-informed afraid of "Obamacare" (the true reason behind this question), it works, it is a step in the right direction, and prevents sub-par insurance plans from preying on the poor. There are minimums on every other insurance... Is our health less important?
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Marvin's Opinion
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07/08/2015
Insurance companies should be forced too comply rather than allow them to cut coverage or increase rates. Medicare should be equally available to all seniors.
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SouthernGal's Opinion
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08/03/2015
Expand Medicare to all & eliminate the health insurance companies.
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What is House Bill H.R. 2506?

This bill seeks to preserve insurance coverage for seniors by allowing them to keep the plans that they’re currently using.

Specifically, this bill would prevent the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) from canceling any contracts (through Medicare Advantage) for plans that failed to meet its standards. Contracts that don't meet the "minimum quality rating" would keep that immunity until 2019. 

CMS has announced that starting in 2017, it will not renew contract agreements that have not scored at least three stars under the five-star rating system. This bill basically saves contracts that would not be able to keep running in 2017 and 2018 under current law

Impact

Seniors, people with disabilities, and other on Medicare Advantage plans, their insurance providers (if they had a plan through a private insurer), the Dept. of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and people who evaluate Medicare plans.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2506

$0.00
In its cost estimate of this bill, the CBO notes that very few people are in plans that don't meet the minimum quality ratings. That said, running a sub-optimal plan still saves money, and allowing those plans to continue would "reduce direct spending by $30 million over the 2016-2025 period."

More Information

Of Note: According to Sponsoring Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL), 10,000 seniors in his Sunshine State could lose their coverage, due to the Medicare ranking system. According to the Ripon Advance, most of the programs that would be cut serve low-income seniors.

So how are Medicare programs rated? The CMS ranks them on a five star scale based on things like how hygienic a facility is kept, and how many staff there are relative to the needs of patients.

President Obama announced changes to the system in 2014 after an investigation by The New York Times found that the rankings system was pretty inconsistent. Whereas before, the ratings relied heavily on self-reporting, the new changes would involve state inspectors more regularly.


Media:

Summary by James Helmsworth
(Photo Credit: "Woman reading" by Daniel Sone (Photographer) - This image was released by the National Cancer Institute, an agency part of the National Institutes of Health, with the ID 8508 (image) (next). Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons) 

AKA

Seniors' Health Care Plan Protection Act of 2015

Official Title

To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to delay the authority to terminate Medicare Advantage contracts for MA plans failing to achieve minimum quality ratings.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Health
      Committee on Ways and Means
      Health
    IntroducedMay 21st, 2015
    We cannot possibly trust the government to determine what is "crummy" for us. Look at the garbage they continually dump on us: Obamacare is a big one. Add the SS fund that we must pay into, while Congress steals from it for other purposes and then claims it is underfunded. Medicaid and Medicare are programs that provide only minimal --if that! -- health care and rip off both patients and healthcare providers. Forced participation in these programs is NOT required of federal politicians and employees. For this, we must ask, "Why?" Federal government leaves us the dregs of their decisions and OUR FUNDING.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    As a nurse, I will say that... Although the fear mongers will try to keep the un-informed afraid of "Obamacare" (the true reason behind this question), it works, it is a step in the right direction, and prevents sub-par insurance plans from preying on the poor. There are minimums on every other insurance... Is our health less important?
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    For most seniors i know money is tight yes better coverage can save more but when you have to choose between coverage and much needed medication thats not a real fix. Some is better then none. till congress can find a good fix this is the best option i feel.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Insurance companies should be forced too comply rather than allow them to cut coverage or increase rates. Medicare should be equally available to all seniors.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    Expand Medicare to all & eliminate the health insurance companies.
    Like (3)
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    Keep Government / obama OUT OF OUR HEALTHCARE! obama is the worm causing the apple to rot!
    Like (3)
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    If they like their Healthcare plan, they should be able to keep it. Congress should fully repeal the ACA, but gut every aspect piece by piece in the mean time! Legislation passed by the President and entire Democrat Congress through lies and procedural gimmicks should never be allowed to stay in place.
    Like (3)
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    We need single payer let's make that an option
    Like (2)
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    What constitutes crummy. Your dying to get your hands on Medicare. KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF MEDICARE ALREADY I SEE CONSOLIDATION. WHICH MEANS LITTLE CHOICE. BE CAREFUL. SENIORS WILL REVOLT ONTHIS ONE. JUST MY OPINION
    Like (2)
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    If the Medicare plans are "subpar," then perhaps the federal government should do something about that. Otherwise, let our seniors remain covered!
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    Sub standard give the illusion of coverage and represents a form of fraud on vulnerable seniors
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    Don't care, this program should be abolished
    Like (1)
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    We have seen how well the govt handles healthcare and insurance. Stick to national security and stay out of my medical records!
    Like (1)
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    No, if they don't cover anything they need!
    Like (1)
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    It is not the government's to decide if a medical plan is crummy or not. It is the citizen's job to do that.
    Like (1)
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    It is their business. Not a Nanny state.
    Like (1)
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    Government doesn't know what is best for people. Stay out of our business.
    Like (1)
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    We need a solution to the problem immediately
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    THIS ADMINISTRATION NEEDS TO STAY OUT OF OUR MEDICAL PLANS PERIOD.
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    The whole country should be on a single-payer system. Then we would all be on Medicare and Medicare would not be crumbling
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