First on CNN: Republican committees tie Democrats to proposed Medicare Advantage cuts
February 26th, 2014
06:00 AM ET
5 years ago

First on CNN: Republican committees tie Democrats to proposed Medicare Advantage cuts

Updated 2:15 p.m. ET, 2/26/2014

Washington (CNN) - Republican groups are hitting Democrats over the Obama administration's proposal to cut payment rates to insurers who administer Medicare Advantage, highlighting a potentially damaging report for Democrats among seniors ahead of this year's midterm elections.

A joint memo released Wednesday by three Republican committees - the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee - ties Democrats to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services report released last Friday.

Insurers say the proposed cuts could force them to pass on high costs to seniors, and Republicans are citing the report as another example of problems with President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.

"Because of this drastic cut, seniors across the country will see their premiums rise, benefits shrink, and may lose access to the doctor they've known for years," communications directors from the three organizations say in the memo.

The GOP groups' memo says issues with Obamacare put vulnerable Democrats up for reelection in November in even more risky territory, especially considering that seniors, those most affected by the cuts, are a reliable voting bloc.

"This is a headache Democrats and their candidates cannot afford but cannot avoid, as it only threatens to highlight ObamaCare as a dominant issue in 2014," the memo says.

The organizations call out Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Democrat from Louisiana, for her support of the President's healthcare law. Landrieu is considered one of the most vulnerable of the 21 Democratic senators up for reelection this year.

Democrats are hoping to maintain their majority in the chamber through the midterm elections but half of the seats Democrats are defending are located in red or purple states. Republican groups have attacked those facing tough reelection challenges over controversial aspects of Obamacare.

"Make no mistake, our organizations are laser focused on ensuring seniors across the country understand who is to blame for these devastating Medicare Advantage cuts and who broke their promises – because the only cure to ObamaCare is getting rid of the dishonest politicians who supported this train wreck," the memo says.

CMS released the report on Friday with little fanfare. Republicans publicized their reactions Monday but Democrats quickly fired back.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee suggested the GOP is being hypocritical since many Republicans in Congress voted for the budget including the reforms to Medicare.

“I know Republicans love attacking each other these days but I'm sure Republican leadership doesn't appreciate their own staff attacking them," DCCC spokesman Josh Schwerin said. "Americans know Democrats are the party that will fight to protect Medicare, while Republicans work to end the guarantee and raise seniors' costs."

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser and CNN Capitol Hill Reporter Lisa Desjardins contributed to this report.


Filed under: Medicare • NRCC • NRSC • Obamacare • RNC
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    As always the facts just seem to get in the way of the teaklans.

    February 26, 2014 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  2. croaton999

    The Democrats, and president Obama have been lying to all of us. Now it is time for all of us to pay up and shut up.

    February 26, 2014 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  3. Tony in Maine

    The obvious answer to all the confusion and squabbling over the ACA is to replace it with the Canadian model – universal single payer health care. And I really don't care that the Koch crime family doesn't like that idea.

    February 26, 2014 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  4. Big truck joe

    Indeed, obamacare and it's cuts to Medicare Advantage plans has become quite the conundrum for the young handsome Indonesian actor, Barry Sotero, who plays the president of the USA on TV.

    February 26, 2014 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  5. Steve- Illinois

    You didn't really think it was "free" did ya? LOL

    February 26, 2014 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  6. Gurgyl

    It is a total lie on the part of GOP thugs to grab the seats. Don't vote any of the Republican garbage. They are so regressive, pathetic.

    February 26, 2014 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  7. alex

    Why are for profit insurance companies administering the Medicare claims in the first place? Here's a perfect example of the American government trying to save taxpayers money by giving less of it to the for profit insurers, essentially paying them less for their useless paper pushing, and of course their response is, "fine, we'll get those profits from old sick people." Are we ready to do away with these for profit insurance companies yet? They've only served to make healthcare in this country unaffordable while adding no value whatsoever.

    February 26, 2014 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  8. TONE

    Any Republican attacks right now lacks credibility, it's just lie after lie after lie. Their main goal is to win in the next election. What hypocracy, they cut food stamps to seniors now they care about seniors, people they don't care about the 99% only the one percent. Vote them out in Nov.

    February 26, 2014 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  9. bill

    i am a vet AND a senior citizen-when obama attempts to CHANGE our government-there is a ripple effect. He is so dangerous to our freedom he needs to be out of office now not 2 years from now. IF you can have a president who lies and lies-YOU CAN KEEP YOUR INSURANCE-then vote for the obamaites-in not NOT. It is time for change-change the direction of this country before it is too late. When Clinton said obama did not have any experience running a business he not only was right but it now shows.

    February 26, 2014 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  10. king

    aahh, i see why the repubs are doing their best to make older less richer folks harder to vote, by telling them they have to get their birth certificate to get another identification card to vote. Ive been trying to get my birth certificate for the past year, and that's a big hassle not counting the dollars this is costing me, i imagined older folks would be going through 2, 3 maybe four times the crap i am going through to get theirs, just to vote. the repubs has the older richer folks with money on their side its no problem to get their birth certificate, and the tea party led Koch brothers will be helping them get their birth certificates. but who will be helping those that social security checks only provides for the bare necessity. this is why these red states refuse to implement obamacare to help millions of their citizens, because they've taken away their power to vote against them. but they will jump on the band wagon of those who can weather the storm and vote against them in a minute. these repubs dont care about their people they only care to stay in office and keeps funneling the spenders money to the big corporations to invest in china.

    February 26, 2014 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  11. Gurgyl

    Do these republican idiots know the cost of Afghanistan, and Iraq WARS?

    February 26, 2014 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    "Insurers say the proposed cuts could force them to pass on high costs to seniors, and Republicans are citing the report as another example of problems with President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act."
    -------------------------------
    The only advantage that I see to Medicare Advantage is that there is middle man sipping from the revenue stream that never existed before its' inception. A middle man that pays many of its' employees 6 and 7 figure salaries, which would be viewed as outrageous if people werer paid that much at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, CMS.

    No matter how you look at it, people are being paid those salaries with tax dollars. Dollars that could go toward paying for actual medical services, instead of someone's high salary. Some would argue that they are successful because they are in the private sector. I would argue they are being paid tax dollars, and that most people would be outraged if they found out that many public sector employees getting salaries like that. What's the difference? Greed is good in the private sector.

    February 26, 2014 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  13. Harold Read

    Obamacare proves it is a disaster yet again.
    Not only is the number if younger enrollees well below the Obamacare "sustainability" quota, they have to shred Medicare funding.

    But ObamaBots will still march triumphantly to the success of Obamacare that has:
    – caused millions to loose their insurance
    – caused millions to loose their doctors
    – caused millions to pay higher premiums and deductibles
    – caused thousands of people to loose their full-time jobs and be pushed into part-time jobs
    – caused US tax payers to pay millions to a Canadian company for a website that still doesn't work , needs millions more to fix, and had to be supplemented by a private company to sign up Obamacare victims
    – caused hospitals to close down
    – will result in job loses
    – etc., etc., etc.

    February 26, 2014 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  14. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    The GOP has NO CREDIBILITY on anything to do with healthcare ANYMORE. They way overplayed their hand and will pay for it in November !!!!!!

    February 26, 2014 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  15. smith

    Premiums will continue rise for everyone because people are paying for bloated coverage they don`t need. Why should a male have coverage for female issues and vice versa. Hopefully, the next potus will make the proper revisions to law to make it better for everyone.

    February 26, 2014 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  16. jk sfl the gop is going to lose the house becauseof gop teaparty idiots like rick mcdannal

    the gop has no credibility with anything to do with healthcare , you would think they would know after five years of ineffective bs and propaganda with 0 results and two presidential losses.

    February 26, 2014 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  17. Tampa Tim

    Republicans peddling half truths and incomplete data. In the defense of the GOP, they were never known for honesty or having any plans to help Americans. Their expertise is in selling their votes to the highest bidder.

    February 26, 2014 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  18. Pete

    Republicans historicly have always put a negetively twist on anything that helps Americans that's crested by democrates..Roosevelts SocialSecurity was ridiculed constantly for years saying it would bankrupt our country but look today how over 99% of retirees,handicap people all depend on this just one government program to survive..LBJs Medicaid created again and implimented by democrates again was villianized by republicans for years calling it a government handout and said again it would bankrupt America and again just how many of our seniors,handicap people rely soley for this program to help them survive..The only thing republicans helped to create was Bushs Medicare Part D a drug program and it took over 2 years to impliment and you didn't hear a peep from those same republicans do yah..Typical hypocritics and ignorent because this party only knows one thing,how to pander,kiss the ass of corporate America at tax payers expense and these programs take away their idea of capital America making the REAL BIG BUCK on citizens dimes.Remember America the health care system here makes monies when you're not well,the opposite of what the Canadian,European social health programs do..Doctors there get paid well to keep their patients WELL not like these vultures here do..Wakeup America ,you're being screwed again by corporate run healthcare and the ACA will eventually curtail it!!

    February 26, 2014 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  19. Fair is Fair

    The democratic party's war on seniors continues.

    February 26, 2014 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  20. Texas JB

    If the cuts are real, maybe the politicians should get together and come up with a plan to fix that portion of the Health Care Act instead of trying to make political hay over it...

    February 26, 2014 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  21. Surprise, surprise!

    Those of us with a brain actively used for thinking and with eyes wide open– knew all along that Obama and his cronies would go after Medicare Advantage plans ! And by the way, ever heard of the term "rationing"? Now who's pushing granny over the cliff? !

    February 26, 2014 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  22. Rick McDaniel

    The Obama regime is attacking seniors, to steal their Medicare funds to give to Medicaid recipients........who are mostly black.

    That is entirely RACIST!

    February 26, 2014 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  23. rs

    Meanwhile, Republican Governors resisting the expansion of Medicaid-based health care in their states are not only hurting their poor, they are conspiring in the "undermine the ACA at all costs" crowd- that is driving up the health care costs in those states.

    February 26, 2014 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  24. Tampa Tim

    If you are unwilling to help fix a problem, then all you have left is run on blaming someone else for your inadequacies. The republican health plan is non existent, so don't look for them to help anyone. Remember the time when elected officials actually served the people that elected them.

    February 26, 2014 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  25. wendel

    repos are desperate. They spend to much time trying to pass laws that discriminate and hurt human rights and butt into peoples privet lives then say government is to big. They lie about everything . Vote these bozos out. Clown show is over.

    February 26, 2014 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
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