Claim: Joe Biden is Privatizing Medicare
Fact: Joe Biden hasn’t (as of the time of this writing) ended a pilot program created under the Trump administration to test “value-based care.” This pilot program involves distributing funds for care through private insurers participating in the program.
Joe Biden is Privatizing Medicare: Fact or Myth?
The pilot program makes use of a “Direct Contracting Model,” ostensibly to “reduce Medicare expenditures while preserving or enhancing the quality of care furnished to beneficiaries.” The concern here from those on the left is that, the pilot program will expand into full implementation, thereby “privatizing Medicare.”
Whether this will happen remains to be seen, but click-baity headlines are implying that this is the case.
Is Joe Biden Privatizing Medicare?
Under the pilot program, Medicare funds are being distributed to Direct Contracting Entities (DCEs), who then allocate funds to select private insurers. There is no added cost to beneficiaries enrolled in the program. Beneficiaries aren’t paying private health insurance companies for their insurance coverage, and this is what is generally assumed is happening when one hears that Medicare is being privatized. So in a sense, this is misinformation.
That said, inserting a private sector intermediary who then allocated Medicare funds to private insurers who then provide coverage does technically constitute privatization, as this model introduces more private sector involvement in the process.
Whether this pilot program ends or expands remains to be seen.