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Wisconsin doctors group: Preserve and expand Medicare!

Single-payer advocates call on the U.S. Congress to block measures which limit enrollment or privatize Medicare

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 28, 2011

Media advisory

Contact:
Melissa Stiles, M.D.
Eugene Farley, M.D.

MADISON -- The Wisconsin Chapter of Physicians for a National Health Care Program, the Linda & Gene Farley Chapter, will host a rally for Medicare on this Saturday, July 30, at 10 a.m. in downtown Madison to celebrate Medicare’s 46th birthday.
 
Medicare is the nation’s most popular social program. For 46 years it has provided those over 65 years old, those with disabilities and those with certain medical conditions access to comprehensive health care. Despite more than two generations of successful, cost-efficient health care delivery, Medicare opponents are seeking to privatize the program or cut its funding, along with cutting Medicaid and Social Security.
 
Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” proposes significant changes to Medicare. This plan would change the age of eligibility and shift Medicare from a public to a private voucher system. The end results would both increase the number of uninsured Americans and shift costs to Medicare recipients. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the plan would shift two-thirds of the cost of care to consumers by 2030, with out-of-pocket costs amounting to over $20,000 per year for each Medicare recipient.
 
“We need to continue to move forward on improving health care and the health of our citizens,” says Dr. Melissa Stiles of PNHP Wisconsin. “Until such time as our nation adopts a single-payer health plan that provides universal and comprehensive coverage to everyone, we will stand with our patients to support Medicare.” Medicare is the primary safety net for our seniors and those with disabilities and covers more than 880,000 people in Wisconsin (2009, Kaiser Family Foundation, State Health Facts).
 
PNHP Wisconsin is hosting “Happy 46th Birthday Medicare! A Rally for Medicare” on this Saturday, July 30, from 10-11 a.m. at the top of State Street (by the Wisconsin Veterans Museum), Madison. The event will feature the Raging Grannies singing protest songs, a giant birthday card and birthday cake. Dr. Chuck Benedict, former state assembly representative from Beloit, and Dr. Gene Farley, longtime single-payer advocate, will speak at the event.
 
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Physicians for a National Health Program (www.pnhp.org) is an organization of 18,000 doctors who advocate for single-payer national health insurance, an improved Medicare for all. To speak with a physician near you, visit www.pnhp.org/stateactions, or call (312) 782-6006.