Subcommittee on Health to Review Solutions at Hearing Tomorrow
WASHINGTON, DC – The president’s health care law has raided more than $300 billion from the Medicare Advantage Program in order to pay for government programs that are not for seniors. These cuts have already resulted in higher costs, fewer choices, and cancelled plans to seniors. Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg as many of these cuts have yet to go into effect. Several House Republican members this week introduced legislation aimed at keeping the promise of Medicare Advantage for seniors and protect them from the administration’s harmful cuts to the program. The Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee on Thursday will hold a hearing, Keeping the Promise: Allowing Seniors to Keep Their Medicare Advantage Plans If They Like Them, to discuss several of these bills and the administration’s raid on the Medicare Advantage program.
Among the commonsense legislation introduced to protect and enhance the Medicare Advantage program are:
- H.R. 4201, the Seniors’ Right to Know Act, introduced by Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA). This legislation would require Medicare Advantage plans to inform potential enrollees of how the health care law’s cuts to the program would affect their choices.
- H.R. 2453, the Medicare Beneficiary Preservation of Choice Act, introduced by Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-PA). The bill would restore the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period that existed prior to 2011, allowing seniors to try out their newly selected plans from January through March and make one switch if they find the plan they selected does not meet their needs.
- H.R. 3392, the Medicare Part D Patient Safety and Drug Abuse Prevention Act, introduced by Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL). The bill would establish a patient-assignment or “lock-in” program in Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D drug plans in order to protect patients who have demonstrated drug-abuse behavior and would help prevent drug diversion.
- H.R. 4177, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow Medicare beneficiaries participating in Medicare Advantage MSA to contribute their own money to their MSA, introduced by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN). The legislation would allow Medicare beneficiaries participating in Medicare Advantage savings account to contribute their own money to such an account.
- H.R. 4180, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to permit rollovers from health savings accounts to Medicare Advantage MSAs, introduced by Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL). The bill would permit rollovers from health savings accounts to Medicare Advantage savings accounts.
- H.R. 4196, the Seniors’ Fairness Act, prepared by Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH). The bill would eliminate Obamacare’s cost-sharing subsidies and reinvest the savings from that policy in the Medicare Advantage program.
- The Advantage of Medicare Advantage for Minorities and Low-Income Seniors Act, prepared by Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN). This draft bill would require the Government Accountability Office to examine how the Medicare Advantage program disproportionately benefits lower-income and minority individuals.
Reps. Ross, Paulsen, Denham, Walorski, and Rothfus will testify at tomorrow’s hearing.