A Win for Health Insurers

And also for seniors. Sarah Kliff reports:

The Obama administration reversed a proposed 2.3 percent pay cut for private Medicare plans, replacing it with a 3.3 percent raise…

Wait, how exactly does a pay cut become a pay raise? When I asked Medicare acting administrator Marilyn Tavenner about the proposed pay cut, back in February, she said it was due to a slowdown in Medicare cost growths…

Medicare costs haven’t changed in the past two months — but two other things did.

First, political pressure ratcheted up. As my colleague Sandhya Somashekar reports, over 100 legislators pushed Medicare to reverse the cuts. America’s Health Insurance Plans, which lobbies for the industry, aired television ads titled “Drastic” and “Too Much.”

Comments (9)

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  1. Irving Toller says:

    Lobbying has such a fantastic ROI. This is preposterous and infuriating!

  2. Buster says:

    Democrats love to bash the profit motive in health care. They also love to bash anything that Republicans support. Then, quietly, they boost the subsidy for health plans that many poor, minority seniors are enrolled in because Democrats know much of the higher costs are passed on to members in the form of lower cost sharing and enhanced benefits.

  3. Kumar says:

    Given that good insurance is the only way most people will get access to care, it seems like a logical move to increase funding to the insurance company as oppose to cutting them.

  4. Patel says:

    I didn’t know how one could expect insurance companies to provide access to care while at the same time bring more people into the market for health insurance. Just doesn’t make much sense.

  5. ColoComment says:

    So, how does all the recent tax & fee forgiveness and raising/expanding subsidies and coverages affect the OMB scoring of Obamacare?
    Once upon a time (in a land far, far away), IIRC, this administration claimed that Obamacare insured more people for equal or better quality care at equal or lower cost.
    We know that you can satisfy any two of those three conditions, but not all three at the same time.

  6. Myriam says:

    More complexity inside government intervention in the health field yields to more dysfunction and disaster within our health care industry, I think.

  7. Myriam says:

    I can’t wrap my head around increasing funding to insurance companies, Kumar. Just can’t.

  8. H. James Prince says:

    Is this 3.3 percent enough to keep providers from leaving Medicare? This remains to be seen.

    In the apocalyptic future, everyone will have government healthcare, and no doctors will accept it.

  9. Gabriel Odom says:

    I suppose the government paying more money is a win now. I hate Washington.