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Crapo Seeks Answers From HHS Nominee On Medicare Advantage Reductions

Washington, D.C. - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, a senior member of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, sought answers from Health and Human Services Secretary nominee Sylvia Mathews Burwell today on how she intends, if confirmed, to fix the many failures that are inherent within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.  During the exchange, Crapo focused on recent reductions to the popular and successful Medicare Advantage (MA) program and the practical implications for Idaho, which has one of the highest rates of enrollment in MA nationwide. 

"…The Administration seems to be pushing for additional cuts to Medicare Advantage beyond those contained in the Affordable Care Act…The bottom line is…the program will be facing double digit reductions over two years.  In Idaho, we have already started to see the effects of this.  Eight counties in Idaho no longer even offer Medicare Advantage plans.  In Adams County, where 44 percent of Medicare beneficiaries have chosen Medicare Advantage plans, beneficiaries saw their plan options limited in 2014, down to just 5 plans from 9 in 2013, and we see this dynamic continuing.  My question to you is…do you believe it is reasonable to implement additional cuts as we see the dramatic impact it's already having [on beneficiaries]?"

To view the exchange on YouTube, click here.