Lawmakers Send Letter to CMS Regarding Medicare Advantage Cuts
Monday, March 17, 2014
by: VNAA Policy Team

Section: Public Policy and Advocacy

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On March 11, Reps. John Barrow (GA-12-D) and Bill Cassidy (LA-6-R), along with nearly 200 bipartisan colleagues from the House of Representatives, sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding the Obama administration's proposed cuts to Medicare Advantage. The letter aims to keep Medicare Advantage rates flat to avoid harming seniors' care.

"Medicare Advantage serves our constituents well, particularly those with high rates of chronic disease,” stated the letter. In addition, "We believe that the cuts…are inconsistent with our healthcare policy goals to promote more high quality, coordinated care for Medicare beneficiaries” wrote the lawmakers.

Federal health officials are proposing a reimbursement cut of roughly 2 percent on average for Medicare Advantage plans next year. A final decision expected on April 1. The reduction reflects cuts ordered by the Affordable Care Act and an annual update determined by the Medicare agency. 

Obama administration officials and many fellow Democrats argue that the private insurance plans under Medicare Advantage are significantly overpaid compared with traditional Medicare. They assert that paring back reimbursements is the fair and fiscally responsible move. Fifty Democrats signed on to Wednesday's letter.

VNAA will continue to meet with lawmakers and monitor this issue.

Read the full letter here.

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