Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ryan Still Selling Medicare Advantage that's truly bankrupting the program. Sebelius stands ground.

I told my friend that Medicare Part D costs 14 percent more than the standard plan.

“Just another liberal talking point,” my gun toting conservative pal said.

He didn't believe me when I told him that Democrats, like me, don’t have a list of talking points. But to conservatives, fact are just talking points.

I was explaining the video below, where Rep. Paul Ryan is still trying to sell Medicare Advantage, the costly, unfunded mandated he voted for with borrowed money. The Ryan ploy is to brag that Medicare Advantage saved more money than predicted. Yes, the program cost less than someones guess at the time, but it's still more expensive than the drug plan in Medicare. So being cheaper than a prediction, an estimate, isn't the same as costing less money than the regular Medicare plan. It's 14 percent more expensive.  

Ryan thought he could get HHS’s Kathleen Sebelius to see the error of her ways, but that didn’t happen.  

Here's a perfectly clear explanation: 

Medadvocacy: According to non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates, equalizing payments between Medicare Advantage programs and the traditional Medicare programs will generate $170 billion in savings over the next ten years. Under the current reimbursement system, Medicare Advantage plans are reimbursed on average 14 percent more than traditional Medicare plans.

"The Trustees of Medicare have warned the country that overpayment to the Medicare Advantage program is one of the major cost drivers pushing Medicare to its 2017 negative cash flow. Following MedPAC's recommendations will extend the solvency of Medicare for all seniors and can be done in a way to allow Medicare Advantage to continue to be a choice ... "Commission has consistently supported the concept of financial neutrality between payment rates for the fee-for-service program and private plans."  

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