GOP House Members Push Back On Biden Administration's Continued Efforts to Force 'Medicare for All'

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Radicals within the Biden administration’s bureaucratic state are out of control. We’ve got Lina Khan at the Federal Trade Commission harassing businesses with frivolous and poorly-thought-out lawsuits, Rohit Chopra at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau worrying about “junk fees” and overstepping his authority, Julie Su at the Department of Labor pushing through a rule that will outlaw independent contracting nationwide, and Chiquita Brooks-Lasure at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services gutting the popular Medicare Advantage program as part of an attempt to drive the country toward “Medicare for All.”

READ MORE: Republicans Better Slam Dems’ Medicare Advantage Cuts As the Attempt to Push ‘Medicare For All’ They Are

As we’ve written about before, CMS is proposing to lower the insurer reimbursement rate for Medicare Advantage for the second year in a row – despite insurers and providers, like every sector in this economy, seeing huge increases in cost. In the opinion of some members of Congress and industry observers, these cuts are intended to weaken the popular program and eventually do away with it.

Why would radical progressives feel the need to do away with Medicare Advantage since it’s still part of the government plan? Well, because the government doesn’t fully run it, and bureaucrats have a slightly more difficult time making healthcare choices for individauls than they do in traditional Medicare, and because in that Elizabeth Warren/Bernie Sanders/Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez mindset the plebes all have to share the same miserable existence.

As Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) explains in a March 19 letter to Brooks-Lasure:

Medicare Advantage (MA) plans provide seniors with high-quality affordable care at lower prices than traditional fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare. In addition to lower costs for seniors, MA plans offer out-of-pocket spending limits, care coordination, and additional benefits such as dental, vision, and prescription coverage-often with no additional premiums. This is possible because robust competition and choices that enable our constituents to choose from among MA plans that compete to provide additional benefits and services at lower costs than government-run FFS Medicare.

In the letter, which was also signed by 44 other Republican House members, Foxx expresses concern that this successful and popular program isn’t getting the support needed and subtly raise the point that it looks like this is an intentional gutting (emphasis mine): 

Given this record of success, it is baffling that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed a nearly 0.2% cut to the Medicare Advantage insurer reimbursement rate for 2025. This is in addition to the 1.12% cuts MA took in 2024. As a result, insurers offering MA plans are already signaling that plan benefits may be cut, which will undermine the program and hurt seniors. These consecutive cuts raise questions about the future viability of the robust choices and options available to seniors in MA. Without necessary support, these options will wither and seniors will be left with fewer benefits, less access to affordable coverage, and higher out-of-pocket costs.

It’s doubtful that the bureaucrats at CMS will listen, but the lawmakers requested that CMS reevaluate the proposed Medicare Advantage cuts, which are scheduled to be announced as part of the final Rate Announcement “on or before April 1, 2024.” They add, “We are concerned about the proposed effective growth rate for 2025, which ignores financial realities by not accounting for the growth in costs and inflation and will deepen funding disparities.”

Even though they’ll likely be ignored, the one weapon these sensible legislators have at their disposal, at least as long as Republicans hold the majority in the House, is the ability to hold hearings and demand documentation and answers related to how these decisions are being made – and Rep. Foxx is no slouch when it comes to that (just ask Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su). Foxx set the stage for that in this letter:

We request more transparency into how this decision was made and would like to note that we expect more transparency on decisions related to the Medicare Advantage program moving forward.

We’ve got to continue watching the machinations of the unelected bureaucrats in Washington, especially related to this issue. Democrats will claim that the evil insurance companies participating in Medicare Advantage hurt people and that they’re making too much money, and that’s why these cuts are needed. In actuality, it’s the start of their path to eliminate competition and force us all into a socialized healthcare system.

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