Senators Flip Flop; Now Oppose Health Law's Medicare Cuts
White House May Extend Health Law Corporate Bailouts
(Washington, D.C.) – In anticipation of Friday's announcement of 2015 Medicare Advantage (MA) rates by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a bipartisan group of 40 Senators has written to the Obama Administration to request a delay in the Medicare cuts that may disrupt access to MA plans. These cuts were enacted under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. Under the terms of the law, spending on Medicare Advantage will be reduced by $200 billion over a period of 10 years. The letter requests "funding stability" for Medicare Advantage, despite the scheduled implementation of cuts. Seventeen of the Senators who signed the letter voted for the health care law – including the $200 billion in MA spending reductions. The letter notes that Medicare Advantage "experienced a real payment cut in 2014," and argues that additional cuts harm the "better care and improved outcomes" associated with the program.
In a further sign of the financial instability of the health care exchanges created under the law, the White House is reportedly considering extending the period during which insurance companies may claim bailouts. Under the terms of the healthcare law, insurers who participate in the exchanges will receive federal funds to compensate them for any losses incurred through 2016. Given the instability of the law and the concern that insurers will be forced to raise rates, the White House may attempt to extend this "bailout" provision so that corporations will be guaranteed not to lose money past the statutory limit. It is already expected that insurance companies will claim hundreds of millions in federal money.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:
"The provisions of the health care law are changing on a daily basis. And every unilateral, politically-motivated change brings more distortions to our healthcare system, potentially hurting people and diminishing quality of care. Now many of the same Senators who voted to cut Medicare as part of the law are pushing to cancel the cuts they supported. If those spending cuts are canceled, this law will cost the taxpayers billions more – with that money simply added to the national debt.
At the same time, the Administration is reportedly considering expanding the ability of insurers to claim bailouts if they lose money from the policies they sell under the law. This just isn't fair – especially not to the taxpayers and insurance customers who will bear the cost of these bailouts. It is time to admit that this law is not working and offer Americans relief from a law ridden with cancellations, higher costs and narrow networks. It is not what the American people were promised."
Learn more about "The Accountability Project" campaign and LIBRE's efforts to keep elected officials accountable for supporting the flawed Obamacare law that is causing families everywhere to lose their current health care plan and lose their full time jobs. They are elected to make the right decisions for the people – let's keep them accountable.