Obama Admin Announces 3.55% Cut To Medicare Advantage Programs.


GOP lawmakers, trade groups rail against proposed Medicare 

Advantage cuts.


By Tom Howell Jr.   The Washington Times  Saturday, February 22, 2014

Republican lawmakers cried foul Friday night over an Obama administration proposal to cut payment rates to private insurers who administer Medicare Advantage, a popular alternative to the government-run health program for seniors.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a proposed cut of 3.55 percent to insurers like Humana Inc. and United HealthGroup Inc., although the reductions would not become final until spring.

Although not a surprise, the proposed cut come after an intense lobbying effort by the insurance industry against slashing rates, citing the potential for higher costs to seniors, and GOP lawmakers this year are sure to use the cuts as further ammo against the Affordable Care Act and its Democratic supporters.  

“The health law cut more than $300 billion from the popular Medicare Advantage program, potentially forcing hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries to find new health care plans, despite the president’s promise,” said Rep. Joe Pitts, Pennsylvania Republican and chairman of a House panel on health. “The cuts announced today will only exacerbate the effect this will have on the health care of millions of our nation’s seniors, leaving them with higher costs and fewer choices.”

About 15 million people, or slightly less than a third of all Medicare recipients, are enrolled Medicare Advantage plans, while the rest rely on the government’s fee-for-service model to reimburse doctors.

CMS officials insisted late Friday that the program is on the right course. It said Medicare Advantage premiums have fallen by 10 percent since the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, while enrollment has increased to an all-time high 15 million enrollees.

“We believe that plans will continue their strong participation in the Medicare Advantage program in 2015 and beneficiaries will continue to have a wide array of high quality, high value, low cost options available to them while at the same time we are making certain that plans are providing value to Medicare and taxpayers,” said Jonathan BlumCMS’s principal deputy administrator.

But top Republicans like House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia jumped all over Friday’s proposal, saying Democrats are taking another swipe at a popular program after Obamacare ushered in a first round of cuts.

“ObamaCare has already caused millions to lose the healthcare plans they liked, and now it is directly harming seniors who rely on the care they have through Medicare Advantage,” he said. “Our nation’s grandparents should not have to wake up tomorrow worried they no longer can access the care they want because of ObamaCare.”

The move is also a setback to trade groups who lobbied hard against the cuts in TV ads and through other means, arguing the cuts could destabilize rates.

“You know, we vote,” an elderly woman says in one frequently aired ad.

America’s Health Insurnace Plans has frequently warned the government not to slash Medicare Advantage payments and will likely redouble their efforts to combat Friday’s proposal.

“Another round of payment cuts would be devastating to the more than 15 million seniors and people with disabilities that have chosen to enroll in Medicare Advantage for the better benefits and higher quality coverage these plans provide,” AHIP President and CEO Karen Ignagni said.


SEE ALSO: Obama doubles down on minimum wage; GOP still zeroed in on Obamacare

Read more: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/feb/22/gop-lawmakers-trade-groups-rail-against-proposed-m/#ixzz2u9Hm2fQa

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Dr. Eowyn

Thanks, Steve, for staying on top of this Medicare Advantage cuts story. The POS said Advantage costs more than regular Medicare and is “unsustainable.” This is just the beginning…


Just where is putting this money from this cut? What about equality for seniors? This POS has no soul what so ever. Remember fellow seniors, you do have the power of the vote to rid the congress of these socialist demorats and rhinos this year. Do not let anyone do your ballot for you. Mark your own and rid our country of this tyranny and corruption.


Sorry, I am pissed off. That first question should have asked just where is the pos putting the money from this cut?


Because those dang sick old people are just too much of a drain the budget… if they only voted Democrat reliably, maybe they’d be worthwhile.

Auntie Lulu
Auntie Lulu

Well, I for one, am sick and tired of hearing how us “old folks” are sucking up these “E-N-T-I-T-L-M-E-N-T-S.” What in the hell were we paying for all the years that money was taken from our pay checks! The problem is the funds that were taken via payroll deduction were frittered away on other crap . . . and now we have become an inconvenience to the government. The only inconvenience I see here is the Congress. They all seem to have “sticky fingers.” Sticky fingers that pilfer funds that were taken in to pay for Social Security, and Medicare.… Read more »


Obama hates senior citizens! He is a one man left wing hate group!