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Public Statements

Letter to Administrator Tavenner, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services - Protect Medicare Open Enrollment During Shutdown

Today, U.S. Representatives Patrick E. Murphy (FL-18), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), Ted Deutch (FL-21), and Trey Radel (FL-19) led a bipartisan Florida delegation letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner urging her to make sure that Medicare open enrollment is not impacted by the government shutdown. Medicare open enrollment, the period during which seniors can make changes to their Medicare plan, begins on October 15 -- potentially during an ongoing government shutdown. Joining this letter are Reps. Corrine Brown (FL-05), Vern Buchanan (FL-16), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Lois Frankel (FL-22), Joe Garcia (FL-26), Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20), John L. Mica (FL-07), Jeff Miller (FL-01), Rich Nugent (FL-11), Bill Posey (FL-08), Tom Rooney (FL-17), Steve Southerland (FL-02), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), and Frederica Wilson (FL-24), and Ted Yoho (FL-03). (Please find the text of the letter below and attached).

"Seniors have earned their Medicare benefits and the flexibility that comes during open enrollment. While Congress continues to work to reopen the government, one thing is certain. Medicare must remain strong," said Murphy. "I am proud to stand with my fellow Floridians to insist that even with such uncertainty in Washington, seniors should be able continue to count on their Medicare."

October 12, 2013

Dear Administrator Tavenner:

We are concerned that Medicare's open enrollment could be impacted due to employee furloughs.

As you know, open enrollment is an important time for seniors. The ability to switch Medicare Advantage plans or move between Medicare Advantage and traditional Medicare gives seniors flexibility and confidence that Medicare is working for them. We fear that seniors are approaching this year's Medicare open enrollment with additional confusion because of the national attention on the unrelated Affordable Care Act open enrollment. The government shutdown will only exacerbate that confusion. If questions about Medicare benefit options go unanswered, the resulting confusion could leave beneficiaries as ripe targets for fraud.

To protect seniors and the functional integrity of the Medicare program, we respectfully urge you to do everything in your power to mitigate the impact of the government shutdown during the open enrollment period. We would ask that you consider ways to protect seniors such as extension of the open enrollment period, or initiation of a special enrollment period once the government reopens. In the midst of this government shutdown we would like to work with you to ensure that our seniors will experience a seamless open enrollment period. In our view, servicing earned Medicare benefits is an essential duty to protect the health, safety, and lives of American seniors.

Sincerely,

Patrick E. Murphy
Member of Congress

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Member of Congress

Ted Deutch
Member of Congress

Trey Radel
Member of Congress

Corrine Brown
Member of Congress

Alcee L. Hastings
Member of Congress

John L. Mica
Member of Congress

Jeff Miller
Member of Congress

Mario Diaz-Balart
Member of Congress

Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Member of Congress

Vern Buchanan
Member of Congress

Kathy Castor
Member of Congress

Bill Posey
Member of Congress

Thomas J. Rooney
Member of Congress

Rich Nugent
Member of Congress

Steve Southerland
Member of Congress

Frederica S. Wilson
Member of Congress

Lois Frankel
Member of Congress

Joe Garcia
Member of Congress

Ted Yoho
Member of Congress


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