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: