"Medicare Advantage is not a perfect program, and there is serious discussion to cut funding to the program as a way to help pay for health care reform. But this analysis clearly demonstrates the program’s value – to the health care system and to Medicare Advantage enrollees. It also reinforces findings from a recent study by Massachusetts Health Quality Partners that, on certain clinical quality measures, Massachusetts seniors enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan receive better care than those in traditional fee-for-service plans. Medicare Advantage delivers on its promises: the right care at the right time, additional benefits beyond traditional Medicare, and greater care coordination between health plans and providers that helps enrollees remain as healthy as possible.If the Obamacare drumbeaters and "regressives" in general get their way, Medicare Advantage will be gone by 2012, as de-funding of the program is a big priority of those partisans. They know that private Medicare programs like this pose a direct threat to their beloved "public option'" "single payer health care", or any other name you would care to apply to programs that are designed to worsen the quality of care and increase its costs to everyone.
....But a decision to cut funding to the Medicare Advantage program means that, ultimately, Medicare beneficiaries’ benefits will be cut. If funding cuts are made, Medicare Advantage enrollees will be faced with higher premiums and/or reduced benefits. Since many of these enrollees are on fixed incomes (according to statistics from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation), any adjustments to their Social Security and/or pension benefits will be insufficient to cover their increased health care expenses."
Already, many Medicare Advantage providers have opted out for the 2010 year coverage because of their disgust with they way "regressive" politics marginalizes their part in providing a valuable and essential service to many seniors.
Watch the pushback on this to be fast and furious. I know of one one local blogger and academic type whose main talking point against Medicare Advantage just got thoroughly discredited.