President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Re: Cuts to Medicare Advantage (MA)
Dear President Obama:
We are writing to express our deep concerns regarding announced budget cuts to Medicare Advantage (MA) by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
While there continue to be strong disagreements about the Patient Protection and Affordable Cane Act (PPACA) and the course and future of healthcare in our country, the harmful effects of cuts to the MA program are being felt now. These cuts are resulting in higher costs and fewer choices for our seniors. We believe there is a general consensus on the principles that Americans are looking for in healthcare: affordability, choice and quality. We should empower individuals and seniors in their healthcare decisions. Instead, your Administration made promises that seniors could keep the plans they already had and that were working for them and then enacted regulations that removed choices and resulted in plan cancellations. All of this to fund more government programs created by the PPACA at the cost of care to our most vulnerable population, our seniors.
The MA program currently insures approximately l7 million seniors nationwide and over 30% of Medicare recipients utilize the program. The proposed cut of 3-4Vo would affect about 3.3 million seniors, including tens of thousands in Missouri and would increase program participants’ cost by approximately $22 per month. Also, the Congressional Research Service maintains that MA plans cover a greater share of low-income and minority beneficiaries than traditional, fee-for-service Medicare. It logically follows that cuts to the MA program would disproportionately affect these recipients. Even officials at CMS estimate that as many as 7 million of the over 15 million on MA plans could lose their coverage.
Again, we are concerned this is a risky experiment that will ultimately lead to higher premiums, fewer choices, and lower quality care for millions of seniors in Missouri and all over the country. We urge you to work with Congress to reverse these harmful cuts and come up with a solution that ensures our seniors can keep the MA plan they have and like. Our seniors have earned this and deserve a Medicare Advantage program that works for them, not bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.
David Sater, Chair, Seniors, Families & Children
Ron Richard, President Pro Tem
Gary Romine, Senator, 3rd District
Bob Onder, Senator, 2nd District
Dave Schatz, Senator, 26th District
Rob Schaaf, Chair, General Laws & Pensions
Dan Brown, Chair, Veterans Affairs & Health
Brian Munzlinger, Majority Caucus Whip
Mike Kehoe, Majority Floor Leader
Ed Emery, Senator, 31st District
Daniel Hegeman, Senator, 12th District
Bob Dixon, Chair, Judiciary & Civil & Criminal Jurisprudence
David Pearce, Chair, Education
Wayne Wallingord, Senator, 27th District
Ryan Silvey, Chair, Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy & the Environment
Mike Cunningham, Chair, Government Accountability & Fiscal Oversight
Jay Wasson, Chair, Financial & Governmental Organizations & Elections