Some Republicans are considering Medicare Advantage reforms as a way of reducing the deficit after it was revealed that some insurance companies have been charging billions of dollars more by overdiagnosing older patients.
However, the idea of focusing on this program does not sit well with some Republicans, as many have been supporters of the program traditionally. Those supporters of reform in the Medicare Advantage program are also aware that any reforms are likely to bring forth opposition from the insurance industry, which is currently one of the biggest and most influential special interest groups in Washington.
Sen. Bill Cassidy (LA), the top-ranking Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, is heading the push for reforms and for a cut in Medicare overpayments. In a recent statement he pointed out that the program “is going insolvent” and that still no one is choosing to take action. He added that everything they would be putting out there in their package is bipartisan and will help serve them if someone decides to take action.
Cassidy’s office has also argued that his bill could help extend Medicare’s solvency, as more than $80 billion in federal funds would be saved within the next decade. The plan does not include any cuts on benefits. As he noted, this is not an attempt to undermine Medicare Advantage. Cassidy also leads a bipartisan working group to reform Social Security and extend its solvency as well.