Issue Position: Social Security and Medicare

Issue Position


Protecting Social Security and Medicare

Pat Meehan knows that Social Security and Medicare are a critical part of an individual's retirement and they are promises that the federal government needs to keep. That is why Pat opposes efforts to privatize Social Security or raise the retirement age. Individuals have paid into these programs with hard earned tax dollars over the course of their careers so that they can have peace of mind that they will be taken care of when they are no longer able to work. Seniors should not suffer or be forced to wait for these benefits because of skyrocketing deficits and what is quickly becoming an unsustainable debt.

Pat recognizes the important role Social Security plays in providing an income safety net for seniors is only likely to grow as more and more employers shift away from pension and other defined benefits for retirees. Changing the rules in the middle of the game by pushing back the retirement age to 70 is inherently unfair as it unfairly penalizes those approaching retirement. Pat believes we must not take a piecemeal approach to strengthening Social Security, but rather take a comprehensive, long-term approach to reform.

As a Member of Congress, Pat Meehan will fight to protect seniors from unfair changes in both Social Security and Medicare that will result in cuts to benefits, delay the age at which individuals are able to access benefits and jeopardize the long and short-term viability of these important programs.

Medicare Fraud

Under Pat's leadership, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia became the national leader in prosecuting healthcare fraud. Pat helped recover more than $1.3 billion for taxpayer-supported federal health insurance programs through settlements with drug manufacturers and the nation's top two pharmacy benefit managers.

Pat settled state and federal complaints that accused pharmacy benefit manager and Merck spin-off Medco of switching patients from one drug to another as a way of earning billions of dollars in rebates from drug manufacturers without ever notifying patients of the switch. Not only did the practice of so-called "drug switching" padded profits for Medco, it also increased costs for patients and their health plans.

Medicare Reimbursement Rates and Physician Access

Pat Meehan is extremely concerned about the adverse impact that lower reimbursement rates from Medicare may have on the ability of seniors to gain access to doctors. As Congress continues to make piecemeal adjustments to reimbursement rates, doctors are increasingly deciding not to accept Medicare patients.

This is also part of Pat's concern with the health care legislation. Earlier this year, Meehan hosted a panel of experts who shared their views on the impacts of the health care overhaul. Many medical professionals have expressed their concerns to Pat that there are not enough primary care doctors to meet the nation's current needs. "If we lower reimbursements, and we place bureaucrats above the doctors who will make medical decisions, we're going to reduce the number of doctors (practicing). They're not going to stand for what they (will) have to do."

Pat Meehan supports efforts to establish an equitable Medicare reimbursement formula that will ensure doctors receive fair compensation for their work so that seniors will continue to have a significant number of doctors available to meet their health care needs.