KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Taking A Closer Look At Medicare Advantage Money, Lobbying

The Center for Public Integrity looks at Medicare Advantage plans -- the money surrounding them including for reimbursement and what they spend on lobbying Congress.

Center for Public Integrity: Home Is Where The Money Is For Medicare Advantage Plans
Some of the senior citizens who called Arizona insurance agent Denise Early wondered why their Medicare Advantage health plans were eager to send a doctor to visit them at home. A few worried that the offer might be a scam. After all, they asked, how many doctors make house calls these days? More than people might think. Home visits have risen sharply at many private Medicare health plans, which treat close to 16 million elderly and disabled people under contracts with the federal government (Schulte, 6/10).

Center for Public Integrity: Medicare Advantage Lobbying Machine Steamrolls Congress
[Sen. Al] Franken rebuked Republican Mitt Romney for his 2012 presidential campaign promise to “restore those billions and billions of dollars in overpayments to private insurance companies for no reason, for no good effect, just so that, I guess, these insurance companies could have more profit.” Yet less than four months later, Franken was in the company of more than 160 lawmakers publicly thanked by industry surrogates for their help in killing some of the same Medicare Advantage cuts he’d previously supported so forcefully. By most accounts it was a stunning policy reversal for many Democratic members of Congress and the Obama administration, and a forceful flexing of the Medicare Advantage industry’s growing political might in Washington (Schulte, 6/10).

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