Democrat Busts Republican Scheme to Screw With Medicare To Benefit Corporations


During a Health Subcommittee Hearing on Competition in Medicare, Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) busted Republicans for trying to elimate competition in a Medicare program to raise prices on consumers to benefit corporations.

During his opening statement for a Health Subcommittee Hearing on Competition in Medicare, Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Committee Jim McDermott (D-WA) called out the fallacy of the hearing and of modern Republicans’ ideas about “competition”, charging that they are actually going to put a halt to the existing program for competitive bidding for medical equipment, reduce competition, and increase costs for Medicare and beneficiaries.

From Congressman McDermott’s prepared remarks, he started off questioning the entire point of the hearing, which is an excellent observation, “We are here today for a hearing about improving competition in Medicare. But I can’t help but wonder what this hearing is really trying to accomplish.Because if this hearing were about competition, we would be looking carefully at how to drive down prices and get a handle on healthcare costs. This would mean reducing waste and overpayments to industries that are profiting at the expense of the American public.”

This, by the way, is exactly what the Obama administration has done — reduce waste and overpayments, going after fraud.

From 2012:

… (T)he Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services (HHS) released an updated annual report showing that, for the second year in a row, anti-fraud efforts have recovered more than $4.1 billion in fraudulent Medicare payments. Compare this to just $2.14 billion recovered in FY 2008. Prosecutions are way up too: the number of individuals charged with fraud increased from 821 in fiscal year 2008 to 1,430 in fiscal year 2011 – nearly a 75 percent increase.

But naturally, since these are Republican proposals, they aren’t actually going to do what their title suggests they do. Rep. McDermott said, “Unfortunately, the proposals that we will hear this morning won’t control costs. Instead, they are designed to appease the very interests that benefit from waste in the system and contribute to higher healthcare spending. We are going to discuss ways to revise Medicare’s competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment. Specifically, we will hear about a proposal that would put a halt to the existing program, reduce competition, and ultimately increase costs for Medicare and beneficiaries This is ironic, because I remember when it was Republicans who were champions of competitive bidding. It was a Republican Congress that first introduced the concept to Medicare as a demonstration project in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. And it was a Republican Congress that expanded the program in 2003 as part of the prescription drug legislation.”

Republicans have disguised a piece of legislation as cost controlling but what it really does is increase costs by providing a benefit to big business. What Republicans mean when they talk about regulations harming the economy is that regulations that help ordinary people are lowering corporate profits.

The idea isn’t to control costs to costs for beneficiaries; it is to increase profits for corporations by allowing them to price gouge on equipment. Those increased prices are passed on to consumers.

Republicans are opposing competition and the free market. That is what the Republican Party really stands for.

14 Replies to “Democrat Busts Republican Scheme to Screw With Medicare To Benefit Corporations”

  1. Mr. McDermott’s actions represented men and women throughout the USA… more than just his constituency. Take a moment to thank him via email.

    You can find the email address for ALL representatives at

  2. And the amazing part, the Republicans who like to troll here, will pretend that Congressional Republicans are doing nothing of the sort.

  3. I agree, he is standing up for us all. But sorry OUT – e-mails won’t work unless you are from his district. You can snail mail him at 1035 Longworth HOB, Washington DC 20515 or call his office 202-225-3106. These despicable repugs need to be called out on their dishonesty and corrupt ways!

  4. I’m medically disabled since 2001 and entitlements like
    social security and medicare keep us from going under
    financially. When repugs drool over those programs wanting to carve away funds or privatize, they’re walk-
    ing on the fightin’ side of me!

  5. Plain old monopoly is what the health care insurance corporations are doing. They want no one to be able to access the care they need if not through them. Tell it like it is Rep McDermott!
    Thank you!

  6. gotta watch these azz hole$$ every minute they are continually trying to DO something to America and the middle class Americans instead of doing something FOR them; they then through their propaganda network blame it on Democrats.

  7. Those senior who stay home with the tv @ all time, are easy preys for the mail order for medical supplies.
    Once that they get a name & SS, they begin to send “stuff” that the seniors may have ordered or not, and will continue to arrive @ regular intervals whether ordered or not.

    The diabetes supplies, many are oldest model meters, and people are not even using. But the mail order corporation know how to do the paper work and how to skim thru the system, making it a gold mine for themselves. (not so good for the rest of us who pay for the junk)

  8. They say they are not scientist when it comes to climate change but they are doctors when it comes to health care and they have a PHD in gynecology when it comes to those icky lady parts. Before I get flame I don’t think women have icky parts they have….. wait, What would men be without women? Scarce, sir, mighty scarce.” -Mark Twain

  9. Soon, hopefully!! Someone wrote to the local newspaper, with a really good idea. Instead of people having Medicare plus a Supplement, just eliminate Supplements, double the price of Medicare and cover everyone. My Supplent keeps increasing, and it is now almost double the Medicare premium. I would much rather pay double for Medicare, and eliminate all the paperwork from Supplements.

  10. You must be getting your SS from a different place than I am.
    MY social security is NOT an “entitlement”.
    It IS the money I paid in from all those years I worked.
    Calling social security an “entitlement” is a buzzword for the gop and its easily fooled followers.

  11. This IS entitlement. You paid to a retirement account so now you are entitled to it.get it back.
    The U.S budget is set up in 3 parts. Entitlements, discretionay and payments to government accouts aka deficit.
    Yes this Congress has managed to brainwash this word as ‘free’sso the thinking is they pay taxes for lazy people to “suck off the government”. Their day is coming.

  12. Think about the word, “entitlement,” in reality, not the way repugnicans use it as if it is a dirty word. Its actual meaning is the same as what Social Security is; an entitlement, as “I am entitled to my S.S. because I paid into it.”

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