Like that Medicare Advantage, Granny? Well, ho, ho, ho—are you ever in for a surprise if Obamacare becomes law! Philip Klein of the American Spectator explains:
President Obama and Democrats have proposed saving money to pay for health care legislation, in part, by cutting $162 billion in payments to Medicare Advantage, which allows Medicare recipients to choose privately-administered coverage. If these changes go through, millions of seniors who have chosen Medicare Advantage would lose their current coverage, forcing them into government-administered plans with less generous benefits. As a result, many of them would have to purchase policies to supplement traditional Medicare.
Klein is interested in what would replace Medicare Advantage: AARP policies.
In 2008, AARP generated $652.7 million in revenue by selling products like Medigap supplemental Medicare insurance, accounting for over 60 percent of the group’s revenue, according to an analysis of its financial statements cited in the report released by the House Republican Conference.
If the House Democrats health care bill becomes law, the report argues, it would be a boon to AARP, because while Medicare Advantage plans will be required to pay out 85 percent of the money collected in premiums to claims made by policy holders, the requirement would only be 65 percent for the kind of Medigap policies sold by AARP.
Also citing Phil Klein, Charlotte Allen has an important blog on the friendly relationship between and the Obama administration AARP, which could get richer than ever under Obamacare, immediately below. She beat me to it, but I still can’t resist blogging about it. Having edited a book on AARP, I am utterly fascinated. Things are popping! AARP has long been seen as a good guy lobby that just helps oldsters (and sends you those annoying membership cards the second you turn 50!).
But it’s a brave new world. The House Republicans have issued a report (“AARP: Helping Seniors of Helping Themselves?”), and Paul Mirengoff of the always valuable Power Line has a blog on the subject. If you can find a copy, I’d like to recommend Dale Van Atta’s Trust Betrayed: Inside the AARP, which portrays the organization as an insurance vendor cum liberal lobbyist. (Disclaimer: Yes, it’s the one I helped edit. )
And an update from the CBO: This non-partisan entity reports that, contrary to administration claims, benefits for strangers would be curtailed under President Obama’s plans. Seriously. Why is Granny not laughing?