Posts Tagged ‘advantage

15
Sep
11

‘gosh, could obamacare be working?’

Jonathan Cohn (TNR): Republicans made a lot of arguments against the Affordable Care Act. But perhaps none were as effective, or as seemingly plausible, as their contention that their new law would cripple Medicare Advantage.

New evidence suggests – surprise! – that the argument was wrong.

…. The policy rationale for Medicare Advantage is two-fold: To give seniors more options and to introduce some private-sector competition. The idea is that private insurers might be able to be more innovative or offer certain combinations of services that some seniors would prefer. But, for much of its history, the program (formerly known as Medicare-plus-choice) was also a form of corporate welfare. Non-partisan studies, by the likes of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, suggested that the government was paying the insurers too much.

The architects of the Affordable Care Act decided, quite sensibly, to reduce those extra subsidies and use the money to offset part of the law’s cost. That’s when the Republicans, and their allies, pounced. Taking money away from the insurers, they claimed, would force insurers to charge more, limit their offerings, or pull out of the market altogether.

…. new information, just released from the administration, suggests those predictions haven’t come true.

On the contrary, the Department of Health and Human Services announced on Thursday that premiums for the plans are down and enrollment is up, well above the official projections……

More here

Thank you ‘africa’

30
Nov
10

gop? you were saying?

WH: Before and after the Affordable Care Act became law, many opponents of reform predicted that Medicare Advantage plans – a type of Medicare health plan offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare to provide benefits to seniors – would be severely damaged by health reform.

Today, the Washington Post (‘Medicare Advantage provision going smoothly’) looks at the reality and finds that the dire predictions were unfounded and Medicare Advantage is going strong. Under the headline “Medicare Advantage provision going smoothly” the Post reports:

“One of the most significant savings envisioned in the new health care law – limiting payments to the private health plans that cover 11 million older Americans under Medicare – is, so far, bringing little of the turbulence that the insurance industry and many Republicans predicted.”

“Whether the payment changes are warranted was a contentious subplot in the protracted debate over the legislation. Democrats argued successfully that the private plans were being overpaid and could withstand the changes. Republicans warned that such plans would raise prices, lower benefits or cause defections from the program, stranding the elderly people who rely on them.

“Early clues to the actual effects have now materialized, as elderly Americans may sign up for a health plan for 2011 during an enrollment period through the end of the year, and the warnings of swift, serious damage to the program are not borne out. Fewer health plans are available for the coming year, but the decrease is largely for reasons unrelated to the new law. Premiums have not jumped substantially, and benefits have not tended to erode.”

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and senior staff, react in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, as the House passes the health care reform bill, March 21, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)




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