President's Forum 143 - New Congress, New NRLN Legislative Agenda
Bloomberg News reported on January 24 that health insurers are again circulating letters among members of Congress to marshal support for Medicare Advantage (MA), a program where private companies covered seniors’ healthcare with the help of $53 billion in taxpayer rebates in 2022. The Medicare Pricing Policy Committee (MedPAC) reported $57 billion. You may recall that in 2017, I referred to MA plans as Congress’ Trojan Horse, sent to Privatize Medicare. Some scoffed at that prediction then rebates were $20 billion.
The MedPAC’s January 12 report reveals that 2023 rebates to buy more enhanced benefits and to pay more MA premiums will be 20% higher, from $164 per month in 2022 to $196 per month in 2023. It is outrageous that Congress would pay $2,352 a year more for Medicare A & B benefits to insurance companies. These benefits are for 31.9 million in MA plans only but 29.4 million others in original Medicare are denied the same benefits that TV ads call “free”. About 15% of rebate money is kept by insurers to cover overhead and profit.
This year, that $196 will amount to over $75 billion! That’s over $200 million a day from general revenue and part of every nickel we pay in federal income tax, weekly, monthly, quarterly or on April 15, that is handed over to insurance companies. MedPAC reported that MA plans will control 52% of the Medicare market in 2023. I hope you will help us kill that Trojan Horse yet protect those in MA plans from losing what they have.
National Retiree Legislative Network
Blockbuster New York Times Article on Exploitation of Medicare Advantage
by Bill Kadereit, President | National Retiree Legislative Network
For several years I have researched and written about how Medicare Advantage (MA) has been using federal government subsidies to offer special benefits that are denied to original Medicare enrollees. In my latest position paper (August 17, 2022), I noted that MA will cost taxpayers $53 billion in 2022 and the projection is that by 2030 the costs will be $100.8 billion!
The 2022 MedPAC report to Congress stated: “Aggregate Medicare payments to Medicare Advantage plans have never been lower that FFS Medicare spending.” MA payments per enrollee were 104% of original Medicare’s FFS (Fee-for-Service) in 2022.
NRLN Grassroots Network is the name for having support from NRLN members to respond to Action Alerts plus having Region, State and Congressional District leaders to support the NRLN’s Washington, D.C. lobbying efforts.
CLICK CHAPTERS on the MENU to see Other Chapters