Write an Op-Ed or LTE

As the Biden administration continues to double down on Medicare privatization through the recently launched REACH program, activists have been writing op-eds and letters to the editor demanding an end to this transparent privatization attempt.

Interested in developing your own letter or op-ed? See our detailed suggestions on writing and submitting, or contact communications specialist Gaurav Kalwani at gaurav@pnhp.org.

REACH Opinion Writing Strategy: Educate + Advocate + Activate

When writing your opinion piece about the REACH program, use a three-pronged strategy: Educate + Advocate + Activate. First, you must educate your audience, 99% of whom have never heard of Medicare REACH. Next, you advocate for your position by explaining why REACH is bad both for seniors and taxpayers. Finally, you activate readers to take action. Below are some key talking points in each step to get you started.

  • Educate: Instead of paying doctors and hospitals directly, Medicare gives third-party REACH middlemen a monthly payment to cover some or all of each seniors’ medical expenses, allowing these entities to keep as profit what they don’t spend on care.
  • Educate: Under this program, up to 30 million seniors who actively chose Traditional Medicare may be automatically “aligned” with a REACH entity without their full knowledge or consent — a serious bait-and-switch.
  • Advocate: REACH Entities are allowed to pocket what they don’t pay for in health services, establishing a dangerous financial incentive to restrict and ration seniors’ care.
  • Advocate: REACH is a threat to the future of Medicare. Experts estimate that REACH entities could spend as little as 60% of what Medicare pays them on patient care — keeping up to 40% of revenues for their own profit and overhead.
  • Activate: If left unchecked, the REACH program could radically transform Medicare within a few years, without input from seniors or even a vote by Congress. Thankfully, the REACH pilot program can be stopped by the Biden Administration.
  • Activate: Americans who want to protect Medicare for future generations should learn more about REACH, and call their members of Congress and ask them to stop this dangerous pilot program.

Opinion Writing Tips and Tricks:

  • A letter-to-the editor (LTE) is 150–200 words; an op-ed or “guest essay” is about 650 words.
  • After writing your LTE or op-ed, send it to your target news outlet in the body of the email — never as an attachment — and include a brief pitch and your bio in your email.
  • You can find your outlet’s contact information by simply googling “how to submit” + the name of the news outlet, or locate your outlet’s “Contact Us” page.
  • WATCH a recording of our Opinion Writers’ Workshop below for some great tips and strategies, or download the slideset HERE. Our short letter-writing guide is HERE.

Sample letters to the editor

Opinion Writers’ Workshop

Ready to take action? Sign our petition demanding an end to Medicare REACH. You may also wish to call your member of Congress at (202) 224-3121. And be sure to let your friends, colleagues, and family members know about this ongoing threat to Traditional Medicare. Questions? Email organizer@pnhp.org.