Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Which seniors will be hurt the most when Obama and the Dems gut the Medicare Advantage program?

No big surprise here. It's the low income and minority seniors who will pay dearly if no cost/low cost premiums are not available to seniors when Medicare Advantage disappears, as it's currently likely to do by 2012.

Despite this, Baucus and the Obamanation demagogues the issue and plays Thug tactics at it's worst against an organization that dares to inform their clients of the potential damage they may suffer.

"Earlier this month, Humana sent a one-page letter to its customers enrolled in its Medicare Advantage plans, which offer private options to Medicare beneficiaries. Humana noted that, because of spending cuts proposed by Democrats, 'millions of seniors and disabled individuals could lose many of the important benefits and services that make Medicare Advantage health plans so valuable.' The Kentucky-based company also urged its customers to contact their Representatives. Pretty tame stuff, as these things go.

Mr. Baucus took it as a declaration of war. He complained to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal health-care agency, which on Friday duly ordered Humana to cease and desist. CMS claimed the mailer was 'misleading and confusing' and told the company it has opened an official probe as to whether the mailer violated laws about how the insurers that manage Advantage plans are allowed to communicate with their customers, as well as other federal statutes.

......In fact, the Baucus draft legislation slashes $123 billion over the next decade from Medicare Advantage, which Democrats hate despite the fact that almost one-fourth of beneficiaries have chosen it over traditional fee-for-service Medicare. One reason seniors like it is because private insurers focus on quality and preventive care and try to manage benefits, as opposed to simply paying bills.

A new study from America's Health Insurance Plans, the industry trade group, finds that seniors on Advantage in California spent 30% fewer days in hospitals over fee-for-service patients, based on federal data. Democrats say that insurers are 'overpaid,' but the cuts—as Humana correctly noted—mean that seniors may lose this coverage."

What Humana said is absolutely true.

But it's not just Humana that's being targeted for attempting to tell Medicare advantage enrollees of their potential loss:

" 'While these programs need to be made more efficient, if the proposed funding cut levels become law, millions of seniors and disabled individuals could lose many of the important benefits and services that make Medicare Advantage health plans so valuable,' it said.

It urged seniors to sign up with Humana for regular updates on the health care legislation, and encouraged them to contact their lawmakers in Washington."

Disclosure: Several years ago, I represented Humana (I no longer am affiliated with them), but this incredible abuse of free speech transcends pecuniary interests.


  1. And now the democrats have voted to keep hidden from us--the latest bill by Sen.Baucus that they're working on. Ha. I guess they think if they don't let us [Americans] see it that we will not know how much garbage is in it. Oh my. Someone needs to tell them that rotting stuff can be smelled even if ya can't see it. Me thinks I smell a dead rat. selahV

  2. Don't count them out yet. The depths to which they're willing to go to get this disaster enacted have yet to be seen.