Rep. Guthrie leads effort to protect Medicare program

Published 12:36 pm Thursday, February 14, 2019

U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie last week led 302 members of the House of Representatives in a bipartisan effort to protect the Medicare Advantage program, which provides care to more than 22 million seniors, including an estimated 36,000 seniors in the second district and over 250,000 in Kentucky as a whole.

The Medicare Advantage program allows select Medicare-eligible patients to choose individually tailored insurance plans operated by private companies to supplement traditional Medicare benefits.

These plans can offer care coordination, disease management programs, out-of-pocket spending limits, access to community-based programs, additional supplemental benefits such as vision and dental coverage, and prescription drug coverage often for no additional premium.

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Guthrie, along with Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Rep. Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), and Rep. Mike Kelly (PA-16) and 298 other members of the House, wrote to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to urge continued support for the Medicare Advantage program.

“One of my top priorities in Congress is protecting Medicare and ensuring that seniors have access to high quality health care,” Guthrie said. “By offering flexibility and access to the latest innovation in health care, the Medicare Advantage program is a great way for seniors to receive additional services on top of their traditional Medicare plans. I was proud to lead my colleagues in the house in this bipartisan effort to ensure that seniors in Kentucky can continue to benefit from Medicare Advantage plans for years to come.”

Recently, Guthrie, co-chair of the Congressional Apprenticeship Caucus, along with Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA), and Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA), introduced the bipartisan Promoting Apprenticeships through Regional Training Networks for Employers’ Required Skills (PARTNERS) Act.

 The PARTNERS Act would establish a grant program to support the creation and expansion of industry partnerships to help small and medium-sized businesses develop work-based learning programs and provide mentoring and support services for workers. It would also allow businesses to partner together to develop group apprenticeship programs.

 “Every time I meet with businesses in my district, I hear from them that they can’t find enough skilled workers,” Guthrie said. “Apprenticeships are a great way for people to learn new, applicable skills while earning money.

“Unfortunately, small and medium-sized businesses — the backbone of our growing economy — sometimes lack the resources to support a fully-fledged apprenticeship program. I was proud to cosponsor the bipartisan PARTNERS Act which helps solve this problem by allowing smaller businesses to join together with other community partners to create work-based learning opportunities for individuals who most need them.”

Guthrie and Davis launched the bipartisan Congressional Apprenticeship Caucus last year to explore ways Congress can support apprenticeships as a way for people to enter the workforce.