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Since 1970, healthcare USA has continuously deteriorated in cost and quality when compared to other countries.

Privatization of medicare means healthcare will get even more expensive...

Privatization of medicare means healthcare will get even more expensive...

...because companies need to please their shareholders.

...because companies need to please their shareholders.

ACO REACH and Medicare Advantage lead to faster privatization of healthcare.

ACO REACH and Medicare Advantage lead to faster privatization of healthcare.

Rishi will not privatize Medicare

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Depletion of the Medicare Trust Fund

The fact is: Overpayments to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans have been depleting the Medicare Trust Fund for 15 years (MTF) Inspector General Report Backdoor Privatization.

The fact is: The Medicare program, which includes Medicare Advantage, is on our High Risk List because of its size, complexity, and susceptibility to mismanagement and improper payments.” Government Accountability Office 6/28/22

NOTE: Medicare Advantage beneficiaries in the last year of life left the program to join traditional Medicare at twice the rate of other beneficiaries. This could indicate potential problems with their care.

Unlike Medicare... “anytime you want care other than an emergency, the Medicare Advantage plan must approve it... Think very carefully before you switch out of traditional Medicare, which lets you see just about any doctor or go to any hospital.Forbes -truth about MA TV ads.

Medicare is in jeopardy and I am blowing the whistle

Read my op-ed piece

Seniors, Beware!

Dangers lurk around your Medicare benefits.

Rishi's recommendation for seniors

My strong recommendation to seniors is to stick to traditional Medicare as much as possible and call 1-800-MEDICARE to elect not to have your personal identifiable medical information shared with an ACO through the data opt-out process. Traditional Medicare can save you significant money and frustration during health issues or surgeries. Stay informed about your Medicare options - read the October 2022 New York Times article that will open your eyes. The Lever has also recently published a shocking article explaining how private insurers "systematically exploit the taxpayer-funded national health insurance program while denying care to the nation’s most vulnerable patients".

The Medicare Advantage has a private insurance company making healthcare decisions for you. Medicare Advantage plans can limit patients’ choice of doctors, and sometimes require jumping through more hoops before getting certain types of expensive care. A New York Times article mentions how medical device makers bankrolled a cottage industry of doctors and clinics that perform artery-clearing procedures that can lead to amputations.

Unfortunately, politicians, like our current representative, prioritize insurance lobbyists and the healthcare industry over seniors.

My pledge is this: I’ll always be transparent with you and do the right thing as your Congressman, rejecting dark corporate money and influence. I’ll always fight for your interests, not special interests - and I get things done!

- Rishi Kumar

Rishi legislates for you Rishi legislates for you

I am Rishi Kumar, and I pledge that I will stop the privatization of our Medicare system. I support Medicare for All!

I will never sell out to Big Pharma or Wall Street.

I will stop the pillaging of existing Medicare and work to expand your available medical coverage - include vision and dental - and push to lower the prices of prescription medications.

“Rishi Kumar will protect Medicare Trust Fund”

(Letter published in the Mercury News)

“Why does Rishi Kumar criticize Rep. Anna Eshoo for not protecting seniors from Medicare Advantage?

Kumar understands, as do many in Congress and the press, that Medicare Advantage is open to exploitation by private insurance companies, who can deny coverage for prior conditions, and a move away from Medicare for All, which Kumar supports. Eshoo doesn't, and as Chair of the House Health Subcommittee, she should be our guard against fraud and exploitation of the Medicare Fund. Yet Eshoo supports ACO Reach, which is depleting the Medicare Trust Fund, as was confirmed by the Inspector General report on Backdoor Privatization.

Kumar is aware of this danger; Eshoo, apparently, is not. Time for a younger, more energetic representative for Silicon Valley.”

Robert Pierce
Los Altos

We need to protect Medicare from being privatized

Medicare is rapidly using private insurers in the Medicare Advantage (MA) program. A proven fact is - people in traditional Medicare cost taxpayers much less. The ACO REACH Program (formerly Direct Contracting or DC) opens the door for MA insurers, private equity and other for-profit startup firms to generate revenue from people in traditional Medicare. The REACH program operates will accelerate the privatization of Medicare. The Biden Administration seems to be about to adopt this system with few changes. Many Congressional Representatives oppose this push to privatize Medicare - not Anna Eshoo!

Medicare Advantage Over Billed Medicare

Thom Hartmann writes here about how Medicare Advantage over billed Medicare, leading to the billions of dollars that were wrongfully paid to the insurance industry. Many of these overpayments happened during Obama’s years in office and Eshoo never alerted her constituents of this depletion of Medicare/taxpayer funds. Additionally, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services refused to recoup the fraudulently conveyed funds. Eshoo failed to step up!

Rishi supports Medicare for All

Healthcare: the industry that consumes nearly one out of five dollars of our GDP. The United States spends nearly twice as much on healthcare compared to the second highest healthcare spender in the world. Despite this, our healthcare isn’t even ranked within the top 10.

"When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare into law 55 years ago, America was in the midst of a healthcare crisis with 56% of seniors lacking healthcare. Today, we continue to have a crisis with 29 million uninsured Americans. Glucophage, a diabetes medication, costs $3 in Mumbai, $17 in Dubai, and $109 in San Jose! Over the past two decades, the opioid crisis killed thousands of people while pharmaceutical companies raked in the profits. Meanwhile, many American families are just one medical emergency away from bankruptcy.

"Our healthcare system is run by greed. Now is the time to fight for the healthcare rights of the American people. It's time to pass legislation that American families need and deserve. Medicare for All has tremendous support in Congress: Representative Jayapal's House bill H.R 1384 currently has 118 co-sponsors."

Rishi Kumar supports Medicare for All and has pledged to NEVER accept PAC money or Special Interest Group money. "American families deserve quality, affordable health care. That's why I pledge as your congressman to fight for your needs above those of Big Pharma. I am the only candidate in the race who has taken the No Health Industry PAC Pledge. I will continue to prioritize the health of the American people over the profits of the pharmaceutical industry."

In America, healthcare should be a right, not a privilege. Covid-19 has shone a light on the inadequacies within the American system. Several countries have adopted a single payer system, and it’s time for America to follow suit. I strongly support Medicare For All (H.R. 1384). As a candidate for Congress, I am dedicated to guaranteeing affordable healthcare for every American. Although Big Pharma and healthcare lobbyists have plagued our democratic system, I have pledged to reject all special interest group and PAC money. I am here for the people and will push for Medicare for All.

Funding Medicare for All

The Covid-19 pandemic has made one thing clear - the American healthcare system is in crisis and the time to address it is now. Doctors, patients, and even politicians have continually expressed dissatisfaction with the state of this country’s healthcare system.

In 2016, the U.S. spent 17.8% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on healthcare, compared to an average of 11.5% GDP among all high-income nations. Healthcare spending in the U.S. reached $3.6 trillion in 2019, or $11,500 per person. Americans pay more per capita for healthcare than any other industrialized nation in the world, nevertheless, 137 million Americans are struggling with medical debt, unable to reach economic stability and gain access to proper healthcare. We must do better.

Under Medicare for All, there would be no need for health insurance companies. There would be no more haggling with insurers about what’s covered and what isn’t, or what constitutes a necessary treatment. Doctors would have the ability to provide the care patients needs and then send the bill to Medicare. The medical system would focus on treating patients, not profiting from their illnesses. Patients could concentrate on getting better, not choosing between healthcare or food or housing. Medicare for All helps families and healthcare companies alike to save money, and ensures proper healthcare access as a right.

The ultimate purpose of Medicare for All is not only to provide accessible healthcare products for all Americans, but reduce healthcare costs, making our system as financially efficient as possible. A study released by the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts found that “Medicare for All could reduce total health care spending in the U.S. by nearly 10 percent, which would actually result in more than $5 trillion in savings.” It’s important to realize that the United States Healthcare System is the most expensive in the world, yet fails to achieve better healthcare outcomes than other countries with significantly lower costs. When it comes to healthcare, the United States is only ranking high for costs, not quality. This is precisely why a strong Medicare for All financial plan must be implemented. It would not only lower costs, but also improve the effectiveness of our healthcare system.

$500 billion saved annually: Medicare for All is possible without paying more for healthcare than we currently do. Medicare already has a track record for keeping administrative costs down, even as private insurance costs rise. These savings are estimated to add up to more than $500 billion a year. Even the Koch-funded Mercatus Institute estimates that Medicare for All would save the U.S. $2 trillion over a decade. PERI at the University of Massachusetts Amherst found the U.S. could reduce total healthcare spending over a 10-year period by more than $5 trillion.

$200 Billion saved from Big Pharma: Americans pay much steeper prices for the same drugs than consumers in other countries. Too many Americans go without the medicine they need because drug companies constantly raise prices. Medicare for All would eliminate price gouging by pharmaceutical companies. Merely bringing domestic prices in line with other developed nations would save $200 billion of the nearly $500 billion spent on pharmaceuticals annually. Americans would see savings of about 40% on their medications. In addition, Medicare for All would eliminate the copay on prescriptions.

$3.9 Trillion from Employer contribution: As workers shift into the new Medicare for All system, employers will be required to pay 75% of what they are currently paying in healthcare costs for each employee who enrolls. This option is estimated to raise $3.9 trillion over ten years, creating significant revenue to finance Medicare for All.

$6.3 Trillion saved from regime change wars: I will maintain a stance of keeping Americans safe, out of war, and putting the money to work in America. I will vote to block any federal funding for military action taken for wars without congressional approval. Read this article - “Rishi will fight for peace”. $10 Trillion has gone to war since 2000. This money would be better spent at home, prioritizing the needs of our tax-payers. Our failed foreign policy must end and we must get our brothers and sisters out of harm’s way by withdrawing America from ongoing military conflicts.

Every American deserves the right to proper healthcare. With the current Covid-19 pandemic, many Americans have struggled to find adequate healthcare. Under Medicare for All, families and healthcare companies will be able to save money and receive equal treatment. Premiums, copays, and deductibles would be eliminated while also allowing everyone, no matter what gender, sexual orientation, race, or employment status, to get the treatment that they need. Every American deserves proper healthcare as a human right and America’s healthcare system needs to be fixed now. As your congressional representative, I will push for healthcare reform and fight for the proper treatment that Americans deserve.

ACO Reach

  • ACO Reach is the Biden Administration’s plan to replace Medicare with what has been described as “A move away from quality health care to profit-oriented denials of care worth hundreds of billions of dollars a year in taxpayer money flowing to private industry.”
    Read: Trump Plan Big Profits Denies Care
  • Here’s the sweet part for Wall Street: In addition to the normal profits from providing services, these firms can keep as much as 40 percent of the money they don’t spend on care. Talk about a financial incentive to deny treatments.
    Read: Medicare Under Attack
  • Some investors view these care coordination models as ripe for financial exploitation.
    Read: Will Privatization Force Traditional Medicare Out of Business?
  • They are incentivized to deny and delay care as much as possible.
    Read: Biden Rebrands Trump Privatization Scheme
  • Astonishingly, CMS does not require DCEs to tell people that they have the right to opt-out, let alone alert them that there is good reason to do so. Unfortunately, the only way to opt-out is to switch to a new primary care doctor who is not a part of a DCE.
    Read: No Requirement to Tell People They Have a Right to Opt Out
  • Over 250 Organizations call for the end to ACO Reach... Unfortunately, REACH retains the most dangerous elements of Direct Contracting, and under the guise of promoting equity, provides even more opportunities for middlemen to profit at the expense of beneficiaries and the Medicare Trust Fund.
    Read: End ACO Reach

What you need to know about Medicare Advantage (MA)

For at least 15 years tens of billions of taxpayer dollars intended for the health care of seniors and the disabled have been wrongfully paid to the health insurance industry through a program called Medicare Advantage (MA) that is part of Medicare. Both parties allow this to happen and both parties receive large contributions from the health insurance industry. But Eshoo, as Chair of the Health Subcommittee, has a duty to protect the Medicare Trust Fund. (MTF).

MA is a program that seniors can choose when they enroll in Medicare instead of traditional Medicare. Private insurance companies offer MA plans and then heavily advertise these plans during the 54-day enrollment period that begins October 15. MA plans initially cost less than traditional Medicare although as soon as a MA enrollee gets sick MA plans deny and delay services that traditional Medicare covers. Also, many hospitals that accept Medicare patients do not accept MA patients and MA plans don’t offer the unlimited network of doctors that Medicare offers.

A few More Facts about MA:

  • (MA) plans cost more than traditional Medicare while denying necessary care.
    Read: Watchdog findings
  • For decades these overpayments to MA plans have been depleting the Medicare Trust Fund (MTF) and contribute to its insolvency. Such depletion is reported to have been $140 billion in the last 10 years and is projected to exceed $600 billion in the next nine years.
    Read: Inspector General Report Backdoor Privatization
  • “The Medicare program, which includes Medicare Advantage, is on our High Risk List because of its size, complexity, and susceptibility to mismanagement and improper payments.”
    Read: Government Accountability Office 6/28/22
  • Unlike Medicare... ”anytime you want care other than an emergency, the MA plan must approve it... Think very carefully before you switch out of traditional Medicare, which lets you see just about any doctor or go to any hospital.”
    Read: Forbes -truth about MA TV ads
  • Those in traditional Medicare are already paying higher Part B premiums to cover higher costs in MA. And instead of being held accountable for overbilling the government and denying care to beneficiaries, MA plans have been rewarded with an 8.5% increase in rates for 2023 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (CMS.)
    Read: HHS Inspector Slams MA
  • According to the American Hospital Association, “additional negative effects of MA practices and policies include abuse of utilization management programs, inappropriate denial of medically necessary services that would be covered by Traditional Medicare, requirements for unreasonable levels of documentation to demonstrate clinical appropriateness, inadequate provider networks to ensure patient access, and unilateral restrictions in health plan coverage in the middle of a contract year, among others. These practices add billions of wasted dollars to the health care system... and are contributing to the unprecedented financial strain hospitals are experiencing.” (Emphasis added) Letter to The Honorable Chiquita Brooks-LaSure August 31, 2022, from Ashley Thompson the American Hospital Association representing 5000 member hospitals and other health care organizations.
  • The DOJ is suing Kaiser for $1billion for Medicare fraud based on MA claims.
    Read: DOJ alleges Kaiser defrauded Medicare.

In other words, the MA program is depleting the MTF and causing unprecedented financial strain on our hospitals and those charged with representing the interests of their constituents remain silent while the health insurance industry continues to fleece the MTF.

The enrollment period for MA begins on October 15. One way of slowing down the depletion of the MTF, and maybe stopping it, is to reduce enrollment in MA. If new enrollees are alerted to the problems with MA including the torturous prior authorization rules, they will be more likely to choose traditional Medicare. Those already enrolled in MA who do not have pre-existing conditions may choose to transfer to traditional Medicare.

Al Gore was right: “I will put Medicare in an iron clad lockbox and prevent the money from being used for anything other than Medicare.” First Presidential debate 2000