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Democrats’ H.R. 3200 Forces Seniors Out of their Medicare Health Plan

September 11, 2009

Democrats have repeatedly pledged H.R. 3200 will expand insurance options and preserve Americans’ ability to keep the insurance they have and like.  However, the language in H.R. 3200 doesn’t support this empty rhetoric.

  • Today, 11 million seniors, or 22% of all Medicare beneficiaries, are enrolled in a Medicare health plan, called Medicare Advantage.  Under current law, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicts that 14 million seniors would choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan by 2019. 
  • Because of the Medicare cuts contained in Section 1161 of H.R. 3200, CBO estimates that only 8 million seniors would be enrolled in these plans in 2019.  This means that:  
    • 3 million seniors who are currently enrolled in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans will be forced out of that plan due to the policies in H.R. 3200 that will rob them of choice or make their MA plan too costly to afford, forcing them back into the one-size fits all government-run program.
    • An additional 3 million seniors, whom CBO predicts would otherwise enroll in Medicare Advantage, will not enroll because they will no longer have access to an affordable plan.
    • A total of 6 million seniors will be denied access to an affordable Medicare Advantage plan because of H.R. 3200.
  • H.R. 3200 violates the Democrats’ and President Obama’s oft-repeated pledge that if you like what you have you can keep it and penalizes seniors in order to pay for a massive government health care expansion.
  • Currently, all seniors have access to at least one Medicare Advantage plan.  However, according to the independent Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) the Democrats’ plan will result in 1 in 5 seniors no longer having access to any Medicare Advantage plans.  Their choice will be taken away.
  • Furthermore, MedPAC predicts that the value of additional benefits that seniors receive through Medicare Advantage will be slashed by $252 per year.  These additional benefits include protections against high out-of-pocket costs, vision and dental coverage, and free preventive care and cancer screenings.
  • Seniors living in rural areas will be disproportionately harmed by H.R. 3200.  These seniors will be more likely to see significant premium increases, greater reductions in benefits, and are the most at risk for having no access to Medicare Advantage plans. 

H.R. 3200’s cuts to Medicare will force seniors out of the plans they like, rob many seniors of the option of choosing Medicare Advantage, and substantially reduce the benefits offered by these plans while increasing seniors’ health care costs.