Joe Biden Begins Cuts to Medicare

( – The Biden administration is under fire after following through with its plan to cut Medicare Advantage (MA) base payments by 0.16 percent in 2025. The decrease in base pay will be the result of changes to MA’s risk adjustment coding system that the Biden administration began last year. While controversial, the change will allegedly lead to more accurate MA payments. Insurance companies and multiple lawmakers pressured the Biden administration to abandon the cuts, but the calls fell on deaf ears.

According to Axios, the plans will see “a net increase” after the payments are adjusted based on each customer’s health risk. However, major insurance company stocks reacted negatively to the news. The Biden administration reportedly aims to stop abuse within the MA system related to increased payments based on the number of health issues enrollees have. The insurers claim that the change cuts seniors’ benefits. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said that MA plans will see around a 3.7 percent increase in payments after customers’ risk scores are considered, totaling $16 billion.

Republican lawmakers blasted the Biden administration after the decision was made public. Senator Rick Scott, R-Fla., released a statement claiming that the move would cost seniors $400 more per year for MA. Over half of seniors enrolled in Medicare have MA plans. Representative Kevin Hern, R-Okla., shared a press release from FreedomWorks, which accused Biden of costing seniors an additional $33 per month for MA benefits. The statement suggested that the goal of Democrats was to have one Medicare system for all recipients, which would be under complete government control.

Heritage Action said that Biden made the cuts with the hope that no one would notice until after the presidential election. Chris Meekins, who works as an analyst for Raymond James, said that the Biden administration is “gambling that MA beneficiaries won’t realize before the election” that the move will result in a loss to certain benefits in January 2025.

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