Republican leaders in the House sent a letter to President Obama on Thursday blaming the Democrat’s administration for health insurance cuts.
The Affordable Care Act, they said, shortchanges Medicare Advantage programs and removes options for enrolled Americans.
“Your health care law will continue to destroy the options available to our seniors unless you intervene. If you will not work with us to repeal the law and enact better solutions, we urge you to instruct Secretary Sebelius to develop a plan to address the devastating impact of these cuts,” they wrote.
The Obama administration last year began implemending cuts to the Medicare programs, which affected the health plan and benefits of senior citizens. The legislators expressed their fears in the letter that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) might soon propose similar cuts when it announces next week the new rates for 2015.
“Now is not the time to shortchange seniors’ choices. During debate over your health care law, the American people were promised that if they liked their health plan they could keep it, a claim that has proved false for millions of working families. Now we know that those broken promises extend to our senior citizens,” they wrote.
The six signees of the document included House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy.
The ACA, effective since 2010, changed parts of the Medicare Advantage program. Participants in Medicare have had the option since the 1970s to receive benefits through private health plans as a different choice from the federally administered traditional Medicare program. Last year the majority of the 52 million Americans on Medicare were in the traditional program, with 28% enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, according to data from the Henry K. Kaiser Family Foundation. One offer included in the advantage program is flexible health solutions for seniors with low incomes and individuals living with multiple chronic conditions.
Disputes continue on both sides of the aisle over the effects of Obamacare. HealthCare.gov launched last October to serve millions of Americans shopping for insurance. Total participants reached 3.3 million last month, ahead of the open-enrollment season that ends March 31.
The ACA prevents insurance companies from discriminating against customers with pre-existing conditions and placing lifetime caps on coverage. It allows young people to remain on their parents’ coverage plans until the age of 26.