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Opposition to increase in Medicare Part B based on income (means testing)

Approved by the Delegate Assembly on March 28, 2007. Now policy of the United Federation of Teachers.

WHEREAS the Bush administration has passed legislation (part of Medicare Part D) that would provide Means Testing of Medicare beneficiaries, making the new income related premium fundamentally at odds with the premise of social insurance, and

WHEREAS the law provides increased payment of the Medicare premium from individuals earning over $80,000, and

WHEREAS Means Testing is a slippery slope whereby the figure of over $80,000 could easily be reduced in future years, and

WHEREAS Means Testing is contrary to the long standing view held by the American people that Medicare eligible individuals should be treated equally regardless of income, and

WHEREAS Means Testing will adversely affect middle income seniors who have worked over the years as productive citizens of our society to earn a decent income in retirement, and

WHEREAS Medicare experts believe that middle class retirees will abandon the program and rely on private insurance instead, leaving poorer, sicker people in Medicare – Medicare would then become a welfare program rather than universal social insurance. A program serving the poor almost exclusively is bound over time to lose public support and funding necessary to sustain the program, therefore be it

RESOLVED that we oppose Means Testing of Medicare since it is a slippery slope that would result in future years in the reduction of the threshold figure to include a greater number of middle income seniors, and be it further

RESOLVED that we oppose Means Testing because it goes against more than 40 years of Medicare practice whereby all seniors, regardless of income are treated equally, and be it further

RESOLVED that we view Means Testing of Medicare as an attack on middle class seniors who have earned their retirement income by many years of dedicated and productive work on behalf of the American people, and be it finally

RESOLVED that we engage in political action in concert with the AFT and AFL-CIO and ARA to repeal this horrific legislation.