Category: Medicare Advantage
Will health care reform hurt seniors? That's the issue we tackle in the latest National Committee Truth Squad video.
And it's an issue that deserves more than just screaming town halls and soundbite answers. We've compiled all of our policy analysis on the various health care reform proposals and other important information on our Truth Squad page
Here is our latest Truth Squad video on our YouTube Channel
CATEGORY: [healthcare], [Medicare], [Medicare Advantage]
Clearly not all reports are created equal. So when the insurance industry lobby, AHIP
(America’s Health Insurance Plans), releases another of it’s reports detailing why it’s a good idea for taxpayers and seniors to pay the industry billions in subsidies it’s not too hard to see what’s really going on. The insurance industry knows it has to launch a pretty good public relations campaign to defend taking $169 billion in government subsidies
to provide what Medicare is already doing...and could do even better with that chunk of change.
Our President/CEO Barbara Kennelly has this reaction to AHIP latest report:
“For decades the insurance industry has told Congress it could provide better healthcare for seniors while saving Medicare money. However, it has never happened. But every year or so we do see a new batch of reports from the health insurance lobby defending the billions of dollars in wasteful subsidies going to insurers providing Medicare Advantage plans. These reports never address the core issue: Why should the government pay private industry 14% more to serve beneficiaries in Medicare when that same money could have been used to improve coverage to all Medicare beneficiaries, not the 20% enrolled in private plans?
Already, $44 billion dollars in government subsidies have gone to private Medicare Advantage insurers and $169 billion will be spent in subsidies over a decade. Every Medicare beneficiary (even those not in private plans) is paying higher premiums to cover these massive overpayments while also bringing the Medicare Trust Fund even closer to insolvency. Rather than promoting improved care for a small group of Medicare beneficiaries, it’s time we focus on improving care for all seniors in Medicare. The best way to do that is to support meaningful health care reform system wide and in Medicare. Getting rid of these outrageous insurance industry subsidies is a good start. "
Chairman of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, Rep. Pete Stark
, had this to say:
"AHIP’s reports attempt to portray taxpayer overpayments to MA plans as indispensable for low-income, minority Medicare beneficiaries, when the opposite is true. These overpayments to private insurers increase premiums for all Medicare beneficiaries to pad the pockets of insurance companies.”
We’ve written extensively on Medicare Advantage over the years including the following:
CATEGORY: [Medicare], [Medicare Advantage]
That’s certainly one of the huge whoppers at the heart of this summer’s anti-health care reform fear-campaign. Problem is...it’s just not so. We’ve written about this a lot (even before the craziness this summer) and have compiled all of our policy pieces on our Truth Squad
We’ve also released the 2nd video in the Truth Squad
series today. Watch it...Share it and Comment on it!
Over the past few days, there have been a number of other reasonable and rational descriptions of what current health care reform proposals actually mean for Medicare. Kaiser Health News’
Howard Gleckman says:
“Opponents of health reform have targeted seniors with a blunt message: You will be big losers if "Obama-care" is enacted. In the words of Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele: "Senior citizens will pay a steeper price and will have their treatment options reduced or rationed."
Scary words. But, in truth, seniors are likely to be big winners if responsible health reform passes and prime victims if it fails. The casualties will not only be today's elders, but the Baby Boomers, who are the next generation of seniors. They will all pay the price if the existing health system is allowed to fester.”
And on Huffington Post
, AARP’s John Rother, emphasizes the fact that benefit cuts are not proposed in any of the House or Senate plans (regardless of what Michael Steele says):
“Let's face it: We need to make sure we save Medicare money, as every member of Congress well knows. But we need to protect benefits while at the same time we target waste - and we now have an opportunity to make smart savings that actually strengthen the program.
Take the problem of unplanned readmissions to the hospital. Follow-up care and guidance to help patients after discharge could lower costs as much as $17 billion a year. Reducing readmissions not only would save money, it would spare elderly patients the anguish of returning to the hospital due to poor follow-up care. "
Another hunk of savings could come from gradually reducing the billions of dollars of subsidies the government pays to private insurance companies, known as Medicare Advantage. These subsidies cost the government 14% more per patient than traditional Medicare. Those tax dollars should go to helping seniors, not boosting insurance company profits. "
Lastly we have to share the Associated Press’
“Spin Meter” analysis of the GOP’s new found love for Medicare. Their lead line is “Weren’t Republicans against Medicare before they were for it?” Indeed.
CATEGORY: [healthcare], [Medicare], [Medicare Advantage]
America's seniors have a huge stake in the national health care reform debate. Unfortunately, well-financed misinformation campaigns have led many to believe health care reform will destroy Medicare. Nothing could be further from the truth!
The National Committee's Truth Squad is mobilized to arm seniors with the facts
about health care reform's impact on Medicare
. Without health care reform, Medicare will continue to suffer from skyrocketing costs associated with general health care costs, until neither seniors nor the government will be able to afford the program. This inevitably will lead to unprecedented cuts in Medicare-cuts that unlike current health care reform proposals-will directly target Medicare beneficiaries.
National health care reform provides an historic opportunity for us to improve Medicare
by closing the Part D doughnut hole
, allowing government negotiation of drug prices
in Part D and eliminating billions of dollars of wasteful subsidies
to private insurers in Medicare Advantage. Ignoring Health Care Reform is not an option.
The Truth Squad tool kit
is available on our website to anyone who's tired of the misinformation and wants the truth about health care reform and seniors. It includes: links to Health care reform policy analysis, "EntitledtoKnow" health care blog posts, a link where you can download your own myth busters badge and our Truth Squad video
series. We released Part 1 today:
We hope you'll share the Myth Busters badge
with friends and wear it proudly to town halls and meetings with your members of Congress. Because as President Franklin Roosevelt said:
"Repetition does not transform a lie into truth".
The National Committee is mobilized to fight health care reform fiction with fact...we hope you'll join us.
CATEGORY: [healthcare], [Medicare], [Medicare Advantage], [Part D]
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