House Committee on Education and Labor
U.S. House of Representatives

Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon
Ranking Member

Fiscally responsible reforms for students, workers and retirees.


Left Turns

June 7, 2010

CONTACT: Alexa Marrero
or Brian Newell
(202) 225-4527

What the Administration’s Medicare Mailer Didn’t Say: ObamaCare Will Force Seniors to Pay More for Less

The New York Times reports today, “President Obama and his allies, concerned about deep skepticism over his landmark health care overhaul, are orchestrating an elaborate campaign to sell the public on the law…” So tomorrow, President Obama will visit Wheaton, Maryland, in an attempt to sell seniors on his government-run health care scheme. This follows the administration’s recent announcement that it is mailing glossy brochures to 40 million American seniors. 

Since the president signed his health care plan into law, the American people have continued to learn about the consequences of a government takeover of health care for job creators and workers. In fact, small business owners will be penalized for raising wages and hiring new workers.  

Now, the public is learning how ObamaCare will affect the millions of seniors who receive health care through the popular Medicare Advantage program. 

“The health insurance industry's trade group Friday condemned Democratic lawmakers for asking the Department of Health and Human Services to guard against premium increases and benefit cuts in privately managed Medicare Advantage plans. …
Health insurers have warned that reducing funding for Medicare Advantage plans would result in higher premiums or trimmed benefits. 

“Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for America's Health Insurance Plans, criticized the lawmakers. ‘Washington can't slash $200 billion out of Medicare Advantage and then try to shift the blame to the health plans that administer the program when those cuts inevitably result in higher premiums and benefit reductions for seniors,’ he said in a statement. ‘The Congressional Budget Office has stated that additional benefits provided by Medicare Advantage will be cut in half and that millions of seniors will lose their current coverage’ over the next several years.” (Dinah Wisenberg Brin, “Insurer Group, Lawmakers Clash on Medicare Advantage,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/4/2010) 

Not that this is news to the Democrats who passed this law. In January, even the Obama administration
warned steep cuts to Medicare would jeopardize “access to care for beneficiaries.”  

Perhaps that is why the administration is spending taxpayer dollars to mail a misleading brochure touting the supposed benefit of the health care law for seniors. The brochure fails to mention looming cuts and higher costs awaiting beneficiaries. 

Postcards failed to convince small business owners ObamaCare was a good deal and it’s equally unlikely this latest brochure and stump speech will win over concerned seniors. America’s seniors deserve the truth about health care reform – not benefit cuts, higher costs, and taxpayer-funded spin.