AirTalk for February 24, 2014

Obama administration proposes Medicare advantage cuts

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JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

US President Barack Obama speaks to the members of the National Governors Association in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, DC, on February 24, 2014.

The Obama administration has proposed cuts to Medicare Advantage plans for next year.

Medicare Advantage is a private insurance option to Medicare. According to the AP, about 16 million people are currently enrolled in these programs, some 30 percent of over Medicare users. Medicare Advantage offers lower out-of-pocket costs and a wider range of benefits, but with more limited choices.

The proposed cuts Friday set off immediate criticism from Republicans, who attribute the cuts as a direct result of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky told the AP, “the best solution would be to recognize ObamaCare for the historic mistake that it is, repeal it, and replace it with commonsense reforms that will protect America’s seniors and families from the seemingly never-ending consequences of this terrible law.”

What are the political implications of these cuts as we head into the midterm elections? Are fears and anger toward the cuts overblown? How would these cuts affect seniors?

Guests: 

Chad Terhune, Healthcare reporter at LA Times

Avik Roy, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Policy Institute; In 2012, Roy was a health care policy advisor to Mitt Romney

Shana Lavarreda, Director of Health Insurance Studies, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research


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