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The GOP plans to cut $270 billion from Medicare over the next seven years. The cuts will mean smaller payments to health care providers, making them more reluctant to treat Medicare patients.

The Republican leadership believes healthy people will leave Medicare in favor of Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs), because if policy-holders stay healthy, they get to keep the money they didn’t spend on care. But the money they keep is money that would normally pay the costs of those in Medicare who get sick. As more money drains out of the Medicare system, more relatively healthy people will leave Medicare in favor of MSAs or private insurance services such as HMOs and managed care plans. This creates a “death spiral,” in which the sickest Medicare recipients are left behind in an underfunded and rapidly collapsing Medicare system.

Insurers are contributing millions to politicians to make sure that Medicare is privatized–and to increase their chances of getting a big piece of the action.


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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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