Privateers “REACHing” for Medicare

June 2, 2022

Medicare — the enormously popular government insurance system which has provided healthcare for our nation’s elderly population for over fifty years — could be effectively handed over to Wall Street within less than a decade, thanks to an under-the-radar program called “REACH.”

Call your member of Congress today at (202) 224-3121, and tell them to take action to stop REACH. Then call Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra at (202) 205-5445 and ask him to cancel the program immediately.

“REACH” is a rebranding of the Medicare Direct Contracting program, established under the Trump administration but continued under the Biden administration. Most doctors, seniors, and even members of Congress have not heard of the DC program — it was created by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) “Innovation Center,” whose mission is to test and implement health payment models without Congressional approval.

This program allows private and for-profit “direct contracting entities” (DCEs) to “manage” seniors’ health care for a flat fee. DCEs can be any kind of company — commercial insurers, venture capital investors, and even dialysis centers. They are allowed to skim up to 40 percent of their fees as profits and overhead, which gives them a direct incentive to restricting seniors’ care.

Even worse, seniors can be enrolled in DCEs without their knowledge or consent. CMS announced last fall that they intend to move all Medicare enrollees to DCEs by 2030.

A broad coalition of healthcare justice, community, seniors and labor organizations, including UE, have launched a campaign to protect Medicare and “Stop REACH.” Learn more at

Other ways to take action:

Learn more about the REACH program: