Amodei’s Latest Not Greatest: Medicare Cut Scam

PinocchioNo.  The Affordable Care Act does NOT (let’s repeat that) does NOT cut Medicare (Advantage).  Although Nevada Representative Mark Amodei (R-Nevada Mining Assn) would have you believe that.   He’s all “A-Twitter” retweeting right wing talking points from the Insurance Industry.

A quick jaunt over to Politifact yields the following information:

Medicare Advantage members pay premiums just like people who get their benefits through original Medicare.  The private companies turn a profit depending in part on how well they manage costs of care. Sweetening the deal: The government spends more per person — 7 percent more last year for Advantage beneficiaries compared with those in original Medicare, estimated the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.

The Affordable Care Act aims to gradually bring costs of the two programs in line. At the same time, it seeks to reward private insurers that offer the best care — these are the plans that top the new star rating system.
You might think shrinking payments for Medicare Advantage would mean fewer enrollees, but that hasn’t happened. Since passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans has grown by 30 percent.  (emphasis added)

So, why should  Medicare Advantage cost the federal government 7% more than Original Medicare?  It shouldn’t.   If the Republicans were truly concerned about that national debt, and federal spending, which they tout constantly — wouldn’t saving the federal government dollars be a positive thing?

Apparently not when it steps on the tender toes of the health insurance corporations who make a tidy profit from selling Medicare Advantage managed care plans.

Will there be changes in Medicare Advantage plans and premiums? Yes, and there have been since the origin of the programs.  Changes happen every year which is why those approaching retirement are advised to carefully study the provisions of both Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage during the open enrollment periods.  This in nothing new. It’s been going on since before anyone had ever heard of Barack Obama, or Smart Phones, or Digital Music.

Advice? Calm down, take a breath. Study the benefits in your Medicare plan (Original or Advantage) during the open enrollment period. Make a choice and rather than going into panic mode when changes are announced you’ll be in a better position to make an intelligent selection.

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