Biden Team Targeting Medicare Advantage Again

How many times do we hear this ridiculous Democratic canard that Republicans want to cut/get rid of your Social Security or Medicare? It’s a constant false attack that we see pulled out, particularly around elections. 

So now that we’re back in election season, that attack is once again flying out there. Joe Biden is spreading it — along with a lot of malarkey. 

“I won’t allow extreme Republicans to hand out massive giveaways to the wealthy and large corporations, while raising your costs and cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid,” Biden (or one of his interns) said. Biden got a Community Note last year for spreading falsehoods on the same issue, and it looks like he’s at it again. That was particularly ironic since his own Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) was targeting Medicare Advantage at the time.


Biden Busted by Twitter for Lying About GOP Medicare Cuts, While He’s Targeting Medicare Advantage

As we’ve come to expect with Biden and the Democrats, accusations such as that are generally projection. 

Now, it’s Biden and his CMS who are once again doing things that could adversely impact seniors on Medicare Advantage for calendar year 2025, and this raises a lot of questions. CMS announced a proposed new reduction in the rate last week. 

According to Modern Healthcare,

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is calling for another reduction in the Medicare Advantage base payment rate, which could further challenge health insurers struggling with rising costs.

Under a proposed rule issued Wednesday, the Medicare Advantage benchmark would be -0.16% less in calendar 2025 than under current policy, excluding how insurers code for members’ health conditions, and would mark a second consecutive year of a lower benchmark rate.

Even as they announced that, Center for Medicare Director Dr. Meena Seshamani claimed there wouldn’t be any cuts. But while the CMS was estimating that insurers might see an average of 3.7 percent more when adjusted, that would depend on the coding and the sickness of the enrollees. That’s not definite, unlike the proposed reduction to the base payment rate to the insurers, which would be baked in. 

The base pay reduction largely stems from “the continued phase-in of controversial changes to the risk adjustment coding system the Biden administration initiated last year.” CMS is accepting public comment on the question until March 1.  

wrote about this last year, how they claimed this was supposed to “claw back” overpayments. But it had at least one Republican calling it out. 

House Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Kevin Hern (R-OK) sounded an alarm about what Biden was doing. Hern warned where Biden was going with this, “Biden just cut nearly $5 billion in funding for Medicare Advantage, and this is just his first step. The end goal is to get everyone – not just seniors – onto government-controlled, Medicare-for-All plans.”

Last year, Medicare Advantage covered 48 percent of eligible beneficiaries. Now, a majority of the eligible seniors — 51 percent — have Medicare Advantage, so any bad move could potentially affect a lot of people. 

A bipartisan group of senators supports Medicare Advantage, and they weighed in this year as they did last year. It’s an interesting mix of 61 senators from across the political spectrum, including Sens. John Fetterman (D-PA), Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), Jon Tester (D-MT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Ted Cruz (R-TX), J.D. Vance (R-OH), and John Kennedy (R-LA).  

While the senators said they appreciated efforts to address issues, they expressed their concerns. They wanted assurances the program wasn’t going to suffer and that the 32 million Americans it served weren’t going to be hurt.

“As the administration considers updates for plan year 2025, we request that you ensure payment and policy stability for the Medicare Advantage program, to protect and strengthen this critical choice for current and future Medicare beneficiaries.”

But when the Biden team is involved, you always have to ask that question. 

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