Stop the ACO-REACH program

One or both of your U.S. senators may be among the 30 members of the Senate Finance Committee or the 22 members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. Below we explain why the Committees urgently need to hold hearings on the Medicare ACO-REACH program. If you have already sent an email or Twitter, please send another. Alter your text a bit to have your letter recognized as an original vs. form letter.

The ACO-REACH program (acronym for the euphemism, Accountable Care Organization Realizing Equity, Access, and Community Health) tightly restricts Medicare patients' freedom to choose healthcare providers and manage their care.

1. Without their consent, millions of Medicare patients, are being enrolled into Direct Contracting Entities (aka, DCEs, ACO-REACH). The stated intent (by CMS and the Medical-Industrial Complex) is to make healthcare more efficient and accountable. The underlying motive is profit for private equity investors and insurance companies.

2. ACO-REACH expands the perverse incentives inherent in Medicare Advantage (withholding care, up-coding, cherry-picking, lobbying for capitation overpayment) to gain profit.

3. About half of Medicare recipients still choose Traditional Medicare over privatized Medicare "Advantage." They value their freedom to choose their healthcare providers.

4. Leaving a DCE means changing primary care providers --difficult/impossible for vulnerable, rural/underserved patients.

In January 2022, 54 members of Congress sent a letter to HHS Sec. Becerra demanding an end to DCEs. In February, without substantially altering DCEs, CMS renamed them "ACO-REACH", to go live in 2023.

On June 22, Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin sent a letter to Sen. Wyden, Chair of the Sen. Finance Committee, urging him to allow hearings on the ACO/REACH program.

On Dec. 8, 2022, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and 19 other members of Congress sent a letter to CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure expressing concerns that the ACO REACH model invites healthcare insurers with a history of defrauding and abusing Medicare and taxpayers to abuse the system further.

Protect Traditional Medicare from private equity takeover. Save, improve, and expand Medicare to serve all Americans.  Everybody In.  Nobody Out.