Buchanan urges CMS to withdraw proposed Medicare cuts

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL), submitted a letter last week to Andy Slavitt, acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, urging the agency to rethink the proposed reduction in the rate for the Medicare Advantage program.

The pending cut is of particular concern to Buchanan, as it could affect the coverage of nearly 54,000 of his constituents in Florida’s 16th Congressional District.

“I write to express my strong opposition to a proposed cut in the federal government’s reimbursement rate for Medicare Advantage health plans,” Buchanan wrote. “If these cuts were to take effect, up to 16 million Americans across the nation would be in jeopardy of losing their coverage or facing higher out-of-pocket costs. Many of these senior citizens are now living on fixed incomes and cannot bear the added financial burden of higher health care expenses.”

The letter also reminded Slavitt that over the past two years, Medicare Advantage patients have already had their benefits reduced by as much as 10 percent, and more cuts to the program stemming from Obamacare are looming. He warns that some insurance companies might discontinue some plans if additional cuts are made.

“Medicare Advantage plans have a proven track record of improving health outcomes, reducing costs and offering much needed personal choice to seniors,” Buchanan concluded. “On behalf of the seniors in my congressional district enrolled in Medicare Advantage, I urge CMS to reverse this dangerous proposal before millions are adversely affected.”

Buchanan sent a letter to CMS last year urging them to abandon a similar plan, and the agency complied with the request.