Biden Moves to Slash Medicare After Gaslighting Republicans About It
If you are one of the millions of seniors who rely on Medicare Advantage for your health care needs, you might want to pay attention to what Joe Biden is doing. Despite his promises to protect Medicare and Social Security and his gaslighting Republicans about it, Biden is proposing to slash funding for Medicare Advantage, a popular option that offers more benefits and choices than traditional Medicare.
Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurers that contract with Medicare to provide Part A (hospital) and Part B (medical) coverage, as well as Part D (prescription drug) coverage and extra benefits such as vision, dental, and hearing care. Seniors can choose from a variety of plans that suit their preferences and budgets, and often pay lower premiums and out-of-pocket costs than in traditional Medicare.
But Biden wants to change that. He has proposed two major changes that would reduce payments to Medicare Advantage insurers and potentially jeopardize the quality and affordability of these plans. First, he wants to implement a rule that would allow the government to recover past overpayments to Medicare Advantage insurers, which could amount to billions of dollars. Second, he wants to update the formula that determines how much Medicare pays these insurers based on the health status of their enrollees, which could result in lower payments for some plans.
Biden claims that these changes are necessary to ensure fairness and efficiency in Medicare spending, but critics argue that they are motivated by ideological hostility to private sector involvement in health care. They point out that Biden has long supported a public option or a single-payer system that would undermine or eliminate private insurance altogether. They also warn that cutting Medicare Advantage payments would force insurers to raise premiums, reduce benefits, or exit the market altogether, leaving seniors with fewer options and higher costs.
This is not the first time that Democrats have targeted Medicare Advantage for cuts. In 2010, under President Barack Obama, they passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which reduced payments to Medicare Advantage insurers by $156 billion over 10 years. As a result, many seniors saw their plans canceled or changed, and some had to switch to traditional Medicare or pay more for supplemental coverage.
Biden’s proposed cuts are even more egregious given the popularity and performance of Medicare Advantage. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly 40% of Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans in 2020, up from 24% in 2010. These plans have also shown better outcomes and satisfaction than traditional Medicare on measures such as preventive care, chronic disease management, hospital readmissions, and quality ratings.
Seniors deserve better than Biden’s plan to cut Medicare Advantage. They deserve more choices, not fewer; more benefits, not less; and more value, not waste. They deserve a president who respects their freedom and dignity, not one who treats them as pawns in his agenda to expand government control over health care.