MI Sen. Gary Peters calls for investing, expanding healthcare

January 30, 2017

Dear Mr. Salisbury,

Thank you for contacting me about Medicare. I appreciate you taking the time to express your views. Your input is, and will always be, welcomed and appreciated.

I have consistently supported legislation to keep health care costs low and expand access to health care for Americans. Medicare helps to ensure seniors and people with disabilities have access to quality health care at a cost they can afford. With over 1.8 million Michiganders receiving benefits, I am committed to strengthening Medicare and protecting it from cuts and efforts to privatize benefits. On December 7, 2016, I signed a letter to President-elect Trump urging him to live up to his campaign promise of defending Medicare and Medicaid by speaking out against proposals to privatize Medicare benefits and raise the eligibility age. I plan to hold his administration accountable and fight attempts to make any Medicare changes that would threaten the health care coverage of millions of Americans.

I believe Congress must act to extend Medicare’s solvency in a way that improves care and protects benefits. We need to invest in prevention, promote efficiency, and adopt cost-saving technologies. In 2010, I voted for provisions in the Affordable Care Act, which significantly improved care for seniors and extended the solvency of the Medicare trust fund by 12 years. However, I recognize our work is not done and that there is more we can do to protect the long-term solvency of Medicare without reducing benefits. That is why I am proud to have introduced the Preventing Diabetes in Medicare Act, which expands coverage of medical nutrition therapy services to Medicare-eligible individuals with pre-diabetes or other risk factors for developing type-2 diabetes. Our nation currently spends $322 billion per year treating individuals with diabetes and pre-diabetes at a significant cost to our Medicare program. In addition, I introduced the Telehealth Innovation and Improvement Act, which would pave the way for Medicare to cover additional telehealth services and expand access to health care in rural areas. These bipartisan, fiscally responsible bills have the potential to save Medicare billions of dollars by improving its focus on preventive care, access to care, and health care innovation.

I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Senate to craft responsible legislation that honors our commitment to our nation’s seniors and people with disabilities and protects critical health and retirement programs for hardworking American families. Should legislation relating to Medicare reach the Senate floor, I will be sure to keep your views in mind.

Thank you again for contacting me. I always enjoy hearing from you and hope that you take the time to contact me again soon. For more information, please feel free to visit my website, http://www.peters.senate.gov, or find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @SenGaryPeters.

Sincerely,

Gary C. Peters
United States Senator
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