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Friday, October 21, 2016

Despite desperate predictions that the approximately $500 billion (over 10 years) cut in subsidies to Medicare Advantage private insurers to help pay for healthcare reform would destroy the program and cause painful premium hikes for seniors, a new report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shows the opposite has proven to be true:

On average, Medicare Advantage premiums will be 4 percent lower in 2012 than in 2011, and plans project enrollment to increase by 10 percent, the Department for Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today. Of people with Medicare, 99.7 percent continue to enjoy access to a Medicare Advantage plan, and benefits remain consistent with those offered in 2011.

This follows an earlier announcement that average prescription drug plan premiums will remain virtually unchanged in 2012:

“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Medicare is stronger than ever,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “On average, Medicare Advantage premiums will go down next year and seniors will enjoy more free benefits and cheaper prescription drugs.”

CMS was able to use authority provided by the Affordable Care Act to protect beneficiaries from significant increases in costs or cuts in benefits in 2012, leading to average premium declines for the second year in a row: 2012 premiums are projected to be 11.5 percent below 2010 premiums.

In 2012, all beneficiaries will have access to Medicare-covered preventive services without paying a co-pay or deductible, including an Annual Wellness Visit with their physicians. Those who reach the donut hole will enjoy deep discounts on brand name drugs and expanded coverage for generic drugs under provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

That Democrats, creators and protectors of the welfare state, were raiding Medicare to pay for healthcare for undeserving “others” was a cornerstone of Republican messaging as they tried to stop reform in 2009 and 2010. Reports like this make that case a tougher sell.

John Rother, former director of policy and strategy at AARP and now president and CEO of The National Coalition on Health Care, agrees with Sebelius that the March 2010 healthcare law deserves some of the credit for these positive numbers.

“The Affordable Care Act started the process of moving toward equalization in terms of how much we pay Medicare Advantage and how much traditional Medicare costs. I think she’s right in saying that the effort to make health plans operate with a little less extra money is showing it’s quite feasible and that in fact there’s little evidence to show health plans are losing members or cutting benefits or any of the other things they [Republicans] claimed would happen during the fight over healthcare reform.”

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Copyright 2011 The National Memo
  • SlyRobber

    Their propaganda is always based on the old but true concept that repeat a lie 3 times and more and it will become the truth and they have become masters at this. Another that they master is through enough sh t at a wall and some is bound to stick.

  • Donbeto

    Ok. Once again, one party lied about another’s programs. Let’s get over the haranging and start publicizing more loudly what the good news is….that the Affordable Health Care Act is the first good move in a long series of steps needed to control our costly health care system. It’s time to lay the facts on the table, and not just bemoan what the opposition does.

    On the other hand, some problems with the Affordable Health Care Act are likely to emerge. Again, let’s deal with facts and if there are real problems let’s fix ’em. For now, though, let’s start broadcasting more to the public about what benefits have recently were just reported.

  • peteserb

    Let see the left says obamacare will help us all. They also said the “stimulus will provide jobs. Solyndra ia a model green company. The auto balout won’t cost us a penny. This administration will be the most transparent ever. All the world will love us because of Obama. Gitmo will close the first year of Obama rules. Acorn is a helpfull organization. This could go on and on, but no need we on the right understand.

  • RonE

    ReCraplicanism is a devastating Idiopathic Neurodegenerational Parasitic disease of affluence worse than Leprosy and carried by the visually impaired grotesquely hypocritical extremist Ayn Rand fanatics. Of course this lie has been debunked, along with virtually everything else they have said and will be saying for the next 15 months.

  • jussmartenuf

    We knew the Affordable Care Act would work. The advantage payments to Humana are approximately 400% more than i am paying a major carrier for the same coverage today and everyone accepts it. The lies of the opposition must be exposed. This information needs to be first page news on every media source. Put this in the commercial for EVERY Democrat running for office to expose their opposition for the charlatans they are. The insurance industry has been cutting a fat hog forever! This is finally a change we were promised. HOORAY for this news.

  • Raymond

    Need health care for me and wife. Worked in New York live in Norwalk ,CT. Been unemployed since 11/15/2010.Please let me know about health care .Thank you

  • joktu

    “CMS was able to use authority provided by the Affordable Care Act to protect beneficiaries from significant increases in costs or cuts in benefits in 2012, leading to average premium declines for the second year in a row: 2012 premiums are projected to be 11.5 percent below 2010 premiums.”
    If the unspecified ‘free benefits and cheaper prescriptions’ would result in no increases in premiums…than why would the CMS need to acquire the new power to artificially suppress the laws of supply and demand?

    If you order the owner of a Diner to offer ‘FREE and/or Discounted’ Meals for Seniors…and forbids him to raise the prices to meet operating expenses… who do you think he’ll pass the cost to?

    Is this an occasion to denigrate your fellow citizens who want to the program to stay solvent…or look at the facts objectively?

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