On February 24, 2022, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) responded to criticism of its Direct Contracting pilot program by … changing the program’s name. CMS announced that Medicare Direct Contracting will come to a close at the end of 2022, and that it will be replaced by the virtually identical REACH model. This new incarnation retains the worst elements of the original program, including:
- Placing third-party middlemen between seniors and the care they need;
- Auto-enrolling seniors who chose Traditional Medicare into REACH, without their full understanding or consent; and
- Paving the way for the complete privatization of Medicare by 2030.
PNHP released a statement detailing our criticisms, and our president, Dr. Susan Rogers, issued a video response letting CMS know that we weren’t fooled by their transparent rebranding effort.
Dr. Susan Rogers to CMS: Not. Good. Enough.
REACH model copies the worst elements of DCEs
CMS claimed that REACH was developed after listening to feedback from concerned
shareholders stakeholders, but all of the dangerous and insidious elements of the old program are still present in the new one. In fact, the REACH model also includes new giveaways to industry middlemen, and investors seem quite pleased with the announcement.
Dr. Ed Weisbart explains the shortcomings of REACH
For more details on the newly announced REACH model, check out an 8:30 video from PNHP national board member Dr. Ed Weisbart, who explains the paper-thin nature of the changes offered by policymakers. Direct Contracting was broken beyond repair, and the “fixes” that CMS incorporated into REACH are wholly inadequate.
The only solution is to finally end this sneaky attempt to privatize Traditional Medicare.
Stay tuned as this story develops. In the meantime, be sure to sign and share our petition against Medicare privatization; call your member of Congress at (202) 224-3121; and educate your friends, family members, and colleagues about this ongoing threat to America’s seniors.