Buchanan, Soto Urge Biden Administration to Reverse Course Regarding Medicare Program

Buchanan, Soto Urge Biden Administration to Reverse Course Regarding Medicare Program

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
March 27, 2024

Representatives Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and Darren Soto (D-FL) announced they led a letter with 18 House Members urging President Joe Biden (D) to reverse course on its proposed rate notice to the Medicare Advantage (MA) program.

The House Members worry that President Biden’s decision would spike medical costs for senior citizens enrolled in the program by four to six percent in 2025, according to projections by Berkeley Research Group (BRG). In addition, federal contributions to MA plans are expected to decrease by 0.16 percent.

In Rep. Buchanan’s Congressional District (FL-16) alone, 100,000 seniors enrolled in the MA program would be impacted by the Biden administration’s decision.

“I am deeply concerned about the administration’s proposed rate notice for Medicare Advantage health plans,” said Rep. Buchanan. “At a time when more than half of the Medicare beneficiary population is enrolled in an MA plan, coupled with still stubbornly high levels of inflation that is pinching the pocketbooks of everyday Americans, the last thing we should be doing is raising health care costs on our nation’s seniors, many of whom are living on fixed incomes.”

Furthermore, Rep. Soto spoke about protecting the program's affordability.

"Medicare Advantage stands as a cornerstone, offering accessible healthcare to over 30 million seniors and individuals with disabilities across the nation, with a significant 2.7 million in Florida alone. It is imperative to uphold these vital components to preserve the quality and accessibility of healthcare for Medicare Advantage recipients,” said Rep. Soto. “Sustaining stable payments is crucial to guaranteeing reasonable premiums, preserving supplemental benefits, and maintaining competitive provider reimbursements for the millions of seniors and individuals with disabilities who rely on Medicare Advantage."

In the letter, the legislators acknowledged that “Congressional action” might be necessary.

“We recognize the MA program has undergone changes in recent years, including significant growth due to popularity of the program,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter. “However, as we work to improve the overall program, the data and cost assumptions used to project the program’s rates must be grounded in the most recent data available and take into account any increased costs that might occur before the rate notice is finalized, either through rulemaking or Congressional action.”

Buchanan and Soto represent Congressional Districts 16 and 9, respectively.

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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