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The GOP plans to cut $270 billion from Medicare over the next seven years. The cuts will mean smaller payments to health care providers, making them more reluctant to treat Medicare patients.

The Republican leadership believes healthy people will leave Medicare in favor of Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs), because if policy-holders stay healthy, they get to keep the money they didn’t spend on care. But the money they keep is money that would normally pay the costs of those in Medicare who get sick. As more money drains out of the Medicare system, more relatively healthy people will leave Medicare in favor of MSAs or private insurance services such as HMOs and managed care plans. This creates a “death spiral,” in which the sickest Medicare recipients are left behind in an underfunded and rapidly collapsing Medicare system.

Insurers are contributing millions to politicians to make sure that Medicare is privatized–and to increase their chances of getting a big piece of the action.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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