Today, CMS outlined the ObamaCare cuts to Medicare Advantage (MA) as part of its 2015 rate notice. While CMS relented on several administrative changes that would have layered on top of the ObamaCare cuts scheduled to hit, it remains clear that these cuts will negatively impact seniors who will feel the harsh realities of the MA cuts. However, as the Wall Street Journal reported, Democrats are finally sharing the concerns Republicans have voiced since the cuts were proposed.
In fact, Republicans highlighted the projections outlined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) actuaries that noted ObamaCare’s cuts would cause millions to lose the coverage that they have and like.
Republicans also voiced concerns about how the $308 billion dollars in cuts to MA would be detrimental to seniors’ care, yet those concerns continued to fall on deaf ears.
While the White House created a new Star Ratings Quality Bonus Payment program, which the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office questioned, Republicans continued to show that seniors will face steeper costs and further cuts are on the way.
Republicans have sent letter after letter warning the Administration about these cuts, including:
- Chairman Camp and Chairman Upton of the Committee on Energy and Commerce along with Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch sent a letter to CMS outlining concerns over MA cuts in last year’s proposal.
- Chairman Camp joined the Speaker earlier this year in a letter to the President to stop further cuts to the program.
- Chairman Brady of the Subcommittee on Health sent a letter earlier this year with several other Committee Members requesting the same.
- And on the eve of the final regulations being released, Congressman Renacci and Congressman Kelly of the Ways and Means Committee released letters to the Administration requesting them to back off cuts to the MA and Part D programs.
Time and time again Congressional leaders have asked the Administration to heed the calls of our seniors who want to keep the plans they have, without having higher premiums or lower benefits as participants in MA. The Administration decided to not double down on the scheduled ObamaCare cuts. However, the ObamaCare cuts on Medicare Advantage continue through 2017.
Now that Democrats are realizing the severity of the cuts, will the Administration recognize ObamaCare’s painful cuts to seniors?