To the Editor:
The 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) eliminated certain subsidies which the federal government first used to establish the 1997 Medicare Advantage program. Medicare Part C is a PPO or HMO through private insurance companies. As of 2008, the federal government spent 12 percent more on Medicare Advantage than it did for comparable care under traditional Medicare.
The additional $14 billion added to the Medicare program in 2009 is what ACA aimed to correct. The subsidies to Medicare Part C will gradually be reduced until payments to Medicare Advantage are in line with the cost of traditional Medicare. Looking for other savings to Medicare could include wrapping Medicare Part D into Part B. This would simplify and lower the cost of Medicare coverage for all. Drug companies should also submit bids for sale of drugs to Medicare recipients. That program has been successful in the Veterans Administration.
Julie Stewart Ziesman