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AHIP Statement on House Passage of H.R. 6331
Date:6/24/2008

WASHINGTON, June 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Karen Ignagni, President and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), today issued the following statement in response to the U.S. House of Representatives passage of H.R. 6331:

"Congress today rushed through legislation that would require Medicare Advantage beneficiaries to pay for the increase in physician payments without considering the impact these cuts would have on vulnerable seniors. As seniors learn the details of this hastily passed legislation, they will be shocked to learn they could face fewer choices, reduced benefits, and higher out-of-pocket costs if these cuts become law."

Ignagni noted that more than 10 million Medicare beneficiaries currently rely on Medicare Advantage to meet their health care needs. This bill includes three separate provisions that would achieve an estimated $13.8 billion in budget savings over the next five years at the expense of Medicare Advantage enrollees. These cuts represent 94 percent of the bill's overall direct budget cuts not including interactions, and 73 percent of the budget cuts if interactions are counted.

Moreover, a recent survey found that most seniors -- regardless of whether they are enrolled in traditional Medicare or Medicare Advantage -- oppose cutting the Medicare Advantage program and believe these cuts will have a negative effect on seniors. Key findings from the survey include:

-- By a 3-to-1 ratio among traditional Medicare enrollees and a 6-to-1

ratio among Medicare Advantage enrollees, seniors oppose cutting

Medicare Advantage instead of cutting payments for doctors who treat

Medicare patients.

-- By a 4-to-1 ratio among traditional Medicare enrollees and a 5-to-1

ratio among Medicare Advantage enrollees, most seniors believe cuts to

the Medicare Advantage program will have a negative impact on seniors in

Medicare health plans.

-- By more than a 5-to-1 ratio among traditional Medicare enrollees and a

13-to-1 ratio among Medicare Advantage enrollees, seniors prefer cutting

other programs besides Medicare Advantage or raising taxes to offset the

spending needed to stop a scheduled cut in physician payments.

-- An overwhelming majority of seniors enrolled in traditional Medicare (89

percent) and Medicare Advantage (88 percent) are satisfied with their

coverage.

Click here to learn more about this survey: http://www.ahip.org/Content/Members/pressrelease.aspx?docid=23678.

America's Health Insurance Plans - Providing Health Benefits to More Than 200 Million Americans


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SOURCE America's Health Insurance Plans
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