The House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee has been holding hearings on whether to reduce payments to Medicare Advantage plans. These so-called managed care plans cost on average 12% more than fee for service Medicare! Cutting them would be a good idea. The Congressional Budget Office says just reducing expenditures to the level of regular Medicare would save $65 billion over a five year period.
Subcommittee Chair Pete Stark and Senate Finance Committe Chair Max Baucus had the bright idea to use the money to pay for an extension of SCHIP, (the State Children’s Health Insurance Program).Â But HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt thinks that’s a bad idea:
Cutting Medicare Advantage payments would lead to a…
government-run, one-size-fits-all plan. There are those who want the government to do the market’s job. The President and I are for competition. If the world has learned anything from the 20th century, it is that the marketplace beats government at controlling costs and delivering value
What a bunch of baloney. I think markets and competition are great, too. But the reality is that the government is paying the premiums here. What kind of a market is that?
Meanwhile, ever-expanding Medicare benefits go to rich seniors while kids suffer.March 23, 2007