KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

GOP Strategists Prepare To Pounce On Medicare Advantage Payment Changes

The new payment rates for private Medicare Advantage plans -- expected to be announced Friday -- are likely to become political fodder in the midterm elections, reports Politico. Meanwhile, congressional Republicans come out against proposed changes in the Medicare prescription drug program which they say would increase seniors' costs.

Politico Pro: Campaign Fight Brewing Over Medicare Advantage Rates
The Medicare wars are about to reignite. The Obama administration is expected to announce Friday new payment rates for private Medicare Advantage plans next year. And strategists in both parties say that could give the GOP new ammunition to attack Democrats on Medicare in the 2014 elections. With Obamacare already such a potent political fight, some Democratic lawmakers, including senators with tough races in November, are pleading with the administration to keep Medicare Advantage off the table (Norman, 2/20).

The Hill: Is Medicare Drug Coverage In Jeopardy
Republican committee leaders are pushing the Obama administration to call off proposed changes to the Medicare prescription drug program, arguing the overhaul would jeopardize seniors' plans and raise premiums. The charges pertain to recent regulations proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The rules would allow the agency to participate in negotiations between insurance companies and pharmacies in Medicare Part D for the first time out of concerns over cost and access (Viebeck, 2/20).

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