Health Care Reform saves Medicare money

According to Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo political news and opinion site, the government reports that since the new rules on Medicare Advantage programs took effect, premiums have dropped by 7 percent, the number of participants is up by 10 percent, and taxpayers are saving money, a pretty remarkable combination of events.

Medicare Advantage is a branch of Medicare that allows people to choose a private insurance policy paid for partly by Medicare funds. As previously run, Medicare Advantage wound up costing taxpayers more money than conventional Medicare would have cost for the individuals covered. But under provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as health care reform or "Obamacare") that came into effect over a year ago, the overpayments have stopped. Republicans in Congress objected to the cost savings when they were proposed, contending that it would cause insurers to raise premiums and would drastically reduce the number of people choosing Medicare Advantage.

In fact, exactly the opposite happened. At the risk of repeating myself, premiums went down, enrollment went up, and taxpayers are saving money. Not a bad result!

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