Demand Progress

Get private insurers out of Medicare!

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    Get private insurers out of Medicare!

    Petition to Congress:
    Medicare advantage is rife with alleged fraud and overbilling by private insurance companies. It’s a waste of taxpayer dollars and critical Medicare resources. Congress must stop allowing private companies to administer Medicare plans.

    There’s a clear pattern forming in election after election: people support expanding public health insurance and lower the cost of health care. After this past election, red state South Dakota voters passed medicaid expansion (the program red state governors have opposed ever since the Affordable Care Act passed). Arizona voters passed Prop 209 to protect people with medical debt from high interest payments and garnished wages, with a landslide 72 percent in favor. And a rural Republican-dominated county in Wisconsin voted in support a national health insurance program.1

    A first step towards big progressive change in health care policy would be getting rid of Medicare Advantage—the private insurance option within Medicare. A recent New York Times report found that 9 of the top 10 private insurance companies offering Medicare Advantage plans have overbilled Medicare between $12 and $25 billion, taking money away from patients who really need resources.2 In order to protect Medicare, we must get private insurance companies OUT of Medicare.

    Sign our petition: Congress must pass legislation to ban private insurance companies administering Medicare!

    The New York Times report uncovered that private insurers are draining resources from Medicare and threatening one of our greatest public health insurance programs. 6 of the top 10 private insurers who administer Medicare Advantage plans have been accused of Medicare fraud by the U.S. government and whistleblowers.3 It’s so bad, many experts and advocates are urging people against choosing Advantage plans.4

    Congress created Medicare Advantage 20 years ago to create a private alternative to traditional Medicare in order to provide better care at lower costs.5 Instead, costs have gone up and private insurance companies have siphoned billions from Medicare.

    The corporate greed is disgusting. The New York Times reports that giant private insurers, “have developed elaborate systems to make their patients appear as sick as possible, often without providing additional treatment” so the insurers could charge those patients more for their Medicare plans.6

    The American people clearly want more government control in health insurance, lower costs, and better care. So why are private insurers allowed to continue overbilling in Medicare Advantage, costing patients, the government, and taxpayers?

    As of next year, more than half of all Medicare recipients may be using Medicare Advantage plans through private insurers.7 Private insurance companies are wasting taxpayer dollars, threatening the integrity of Medicare, and putting patients’ health at risk. We can’t let big corporations continue to suck away money from Medicare.

    Sign our petition to protect Medicare and demand an end to private insurers interference in Medicare.

    1. The Intercept, “In A Wisconsin Trump County, And Across The U.S., Progressive Health Care Initiatives Coasted Through,” November 29, 2022.
    2. New York Times, “‘The Cash Monster Was Insatiable’: How Insurers Exploited Medicare for Billions,” October 8, 2022.
    3. Ibid.
    4. Business Insider, “Popular Medicare Advantage plans have 'clear cases of overpayments and improper billing of US taxpayers,' advocates and analysts say,” December 5, 2022.
    5. New York Times, “‘The Cash Monster Was Insatiable’: How Insurers Exploited Medicare for Billions,” October 8, 2022.
    6. Ibid.
    7. Ibid.