Change we can believe in
President-elect Barack Obama plans to eliminate the Medicare Advantage plans championed by President Bush. Outsourcing health coverage to private insurers was one of those ideas that looked good on paper. The plan was that Medicare Advantage would inject some much needed competition into Medicare and would result in lower costs thanks to the efficiency of the market.
The reality turned out a bit different. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the government (aka “the taxpayers”) paid an average of 13% more to care for a Medicare Advantage patient compared to a traditional Medicare patient. Last year, President Bush opposed a bill that would have cut funding for the Medicare Advantage programs and prevented a cut in physician pay by 10.6%. The President vetoed the bill but Congress overwhelmingly overrode the veto.