Senator Burr’s Plan Hands Medicare Over to Private Insurance Companies

Wednesday, June 29, 2016
CONTACT: Matt Kravitz, 919.438.1836
Senator Burr’s Plan Hands Medicare Over to Private Insurance Companies
As Medicare Celebrates 50th Anniversary, Burr’s Plan Helps Insurers Profit and Makes Seniors Pay More
RALEIGH, N.C. – Medicare is set to turn 50 this week, but not if Senator Richard Burr has his way. Burr’s plan would turn Medicare into something unrecognizable: a private voucher program that works for special interest insurers, but raises the retirement age and forces North Carolina seniors to pay more. All while the plan pads the profits of insurance companies, an industry that has contributed more than $1 million to Burr’s campaigns.

“Richard Burr is a classic example of everything that is wrong with Washington. He looks out for special interests but not the people who elected him. Burr’s plan to turn Medicare over to the same insurance companies who’ve lined his pockets for years on end is a perfect example. Insurers give money to Burr, Burr writes a plan to give Medicare to them, and seniors are forced to pay more. That’s what’s wrong with politics these days, and it’s why so many voters are ready for a change,” said Matt Kravitz, Press Secretary for the North Carolina Democratic Party. 


Burr Received More Than $1 Million From Insurance Interests, Which Stand To Profit From His Medicare Plan: Over the course of his political career Burr has received a total of $1,129,864 from insurance industry interests. [, accessed June 1, 2016]

Burr Unveiled His Own Medicare Voucher Plan, Similar To The Ryan Plan – Except Burr’s Plan Would Start Vouchers Six Years Earlier. “Two Republican senators unveiled a Medicare overhaul Thursday that features an accelerated transition to private health insurance for many seniors, a gradual increase in the eligibility age, and higher premiums for middle-class and upper-income retirees. […] Like Ryan, Coburn and Burr would gradually raise the eligibility age to 67. But their plan also differs in several important ways. It would start the transition to a system dominated by private insurance plans in 2016 instead of waiting a decade, as Ryan has proposed.” [Associated Press, 2/16/12]

Burr-Coburn Plan Increased Medicare Part B Premiums By 9 Percent Of Part A And B Program Costs Prior To Implementation Of Premium Support, And Beneficiaries Would Pay The Difference Between Their Defined Federal Contribution And Their Plan.[Comparison Of Medicare Premium Support Proposals, Kaiser Family Foundation, 7/26/12]

Under Burr-Coburn, Private Plans Could Cherry-Pick The Healthiest Beneficiaries And Leave Sicker Applicants To Traditional Medicare, Forcing Medicare Costs To Skyrocket. “Under Coburn/Burr’s loose regulations, private plans will be able to cherry-pick the healthiest beneficiaries and leave sicker applicants to the government. In fact, without having to offer a defined package of benefits, private insurers could attract a healthier population by simply ratcheting down services that sicker beneficiaries rely on (like chemotherapy) and building up coverage for healthier applicants (like preventive services). Should they succeed, traditional Medicare costs will skyrocket, forcing even more seniors out of the government program.” [ThinkProgress, 2/16/12]

National Committee To Preserve Social Security And Medicare: “Raising The Medicare Eligibility Age Would Save The Federal Government Money, But It Would Increase The Cost Of Health Care For Everyone Else.” [National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare, 2/16/12]

NCPSSM: Burr’s “Plan Would End Medicare As We Know It,” “Could Actually Increase Medicare Costs,” “Would Increase The Cost Of Health Care For Everyone Else,” And Would “Ultimately Impact Beneficiaries With Modest Incomes.” “The Coburn/Burr legislation proposed today would:  provide seniors a voucher for their health care that could shift a growing share of Medicare costs to beneficiaries without reducing overall costs in the program, undermine traditional Medicare, leave millions of seniors without health coverage in retirement, and raise premiums for middle-class retirees.” [National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare, 2/16/12]

The North Carolina Democratic Party (NCDP) is the North Carolina affiliate of the Democratic Party. NCDP works to elect Democratic public officials, encourages North Carolinians to become involved in Democratic politics, and fights for equality, opportunity and prosperity for all North Carolinians.