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Your Views: Urge Congress to protect Medicare Advantage plan

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February 10, 2014

It's not every day that you hear about a successful program created by the government, particularly one relating to health care. But Medicare Advantage is a proven success, as evident by more than 90 percent of the program's 14 million beneficiaries reporting how “highly satisfied” they are with this program. I am among the 340,000 Medicare Advantage beneficiaries right here in Wisconsin.

Unfortunately, as a result of changes enacted by the Affordable Care Act, Medicare Advantage is set to endure more than $200 billion worth of cuts over the next decade, with some cuts having already been made by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). These ongoing cuts will undoubtedly result in a reduction in the quality of care enjoyed by beneficiaries within the program while also increasing their out-of-pocket costs. That's right: higher costs for lower quality care.

These cuts are unacceptable. We should not be punished for the government's inability to find other ways of paying for the changes made under the Affordable Care Act. That is why I urge members of Congress, such as Rep. Paul Ryan, to do everything in their power to prevent CMS from enacting these harmful cuts to a great and successful program such as Medicare Advantage.

Through the choices it offers, Medicare Advantage is a great program that accommodates the unique medical needs of all of its beneficiaries. I hope our congressional delegation does what it can to protect this successful program for generations to come.

LaVERNA HILBIG

Beloit



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