Millions could lose Medicare Advantage with proposed cuts

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

To the Editor:

President Obama has repeatedly promised that “if you like your current health care plan, you will be able to  keep your current plan.” Yet to help pay for his health reform proposal, Mr. Obama plans to cut $500-600 billion from Medicare over the next decade, including cutting billions from Medicare Advantage.

The idea that it is possible to cut so much from Medicare and Medicare Advantage simply by eliminating ”waste and fraud” is wishful thinking. As the baby boom generation begins to retire next year, Medicare enrollment will skyrocket, putting more pressure on a system that is already headed toward bankruptcy. Cutting the Medicare budget means benefits will have to be cut.

Thus the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has stated that the Senate’s proposed $123 billion cut in funding for Medicare Advantage “could lead many plans to limit the benefits they offer, raise their premiums, or withdraw from the program.” The CBO estimates that some 2.7 million people would lose their Medicare Advantage coverage.

So if you like your current Medicare Advantage plan, you can keep it - for now.

Eric Havill