KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

AHIP And AMA Launch Health Care TV Ads

America's Health Insurance Plans and the American Medical Association launch new television ads on health care.

The aim of the AHIP ad campaign is "[t]o convince seniors they'd be losers under the legislation – in large part because of a proposal to cut payments to Medicare Advantage, the private plan part of Medicare," Kaiser Health News reports. Seniors, the ad says, could be forced to give up "more than their fair share" to help pay for reform. "But that argument, many health experts say, turns on its head the real Medicare inequity-that the government has for years so overpaid the private plans that many enrollees receive additional benefits, such as eyeglasses and dental care, that seniors in traditional Medicare don't get" (Rau, 10/16).

Meanwhile, the AMA "is launching a coast-to-coast TV ad campaign to press Congress to approve higher payments for doctors treating Medicare patients," The Associated Press reports. "The doctors group announced the ads Thursday, a day after Democrats agreed to push a $247 billion bill through the Senate next week averting scheduled cuts in physicians' Medicare fees over the next decade." The ad, which will run in 12 states and cost seven figures, "says the bill will 'protect seniors' access to quality care' and urges people to contact their senators to tell them to vote for it. Restoring the money has long been a top priority for doctors' lobbyists" (Fram, 10/15).

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