Today in Medicare

AARP senior advocates medicare bill healthcare

AARP slams Senate healthcare proposal, calls for Congress to ‘start from scratch’

BY MICHAEL SHEETZ: Non-profit AARP said Tuesday that based on the results of the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the GOP Senate health-care bill, all senators should vote against the Better Care Reconciliation Act.

“Under the BCRA, premiums and out of pocket costs for 50-64 year olds buying their own insurance would skyrocket, Medicaid coverage for millions of seniors and people with disabilities would be at risk and the fiscal sustainability of Medicare would be weakened,” Nancy LeaMond, AARP’s executive chief advocacy & engagement officer, wrote in a letter to senators. (read more)

Meehan bill improves Medicare Advantage for chronically ill seniors

BY CONGRESSIONAL SPOKESPERSON: Congressman Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) has introduced H.R. 3044, bipartisan legislation that allows Medicare Advantage insurance plans to offer a wider array of benefits to chronically ill enrollees. The legislation waives uniformity requirements among Medicare Advantage plans and allows insurers to offer plans better tailored to meet the individual needs of patients with chronic illness. (read more)

Analysis: Criticism from senior advocates playing role in Senate bill holdup

BY GARY ROTSTEIN AND KRIS B. MAMULA: Powerhouse lobbyists such as AARP, the American Medical Association and nursing home provider groups have been joined by smaller outfits like the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and National Adult Day Services Association in raising concerns about one or both of two potential impacts on older adults: higher insurance premiums and Medicaid funding changes that could reduce access to and quality of care for frail individuals in nursing homes and the community.

Aside from analysis by the Congressional Budget Office and others of how people just shy of Medicare age could expect to pay thousands of dollars more annually to buy private health insurance than under the Affordable Care Act, 112 organizations joined in paid advertising criticizing proposed caps on Medicaid funding. (read more)

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