This week, the chief actuary for the Medicare program pulled the curtain back on President Obama and HHS Secretary Sebelius to show that, thanks to Obamacare, America’s seniors participating in Medicare Advantage plans are going to lose out in a big way. This is significant because Medicare Advantage currently has 11.1 million enrollees, or a quarter of all Medicare beneficiaries. Senator Chuck Grassley pointed out to Politico:
Seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage will pay more out of their own pockets as a result of the new health care law. Their costs will go up by hundreds of dollars on average in the coming years, by $346 in 2011 to a high of $923 in 2017.
This is not the first run-in the the Obama Administration has had with the non-partisan Medicare actuary. When the White House said that seniors will continue to have access to Medicare Advantage plans (remember, 11.1 million currently do), the Medicare actuary said that enrollment in MA plans is projected to fall by half between now and 2017. On top of that, the Congressional Budget Office projects that seniors who remain in Medicare Advantage will lose an average of $816 in benefits each year.
What ever happened to the “if you like your plan you can keep it” talk?