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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Revealed: Obama's attack on Medicare Part D -- By Patrick Howley, The Daily Caller

The Obama administration is launching an “attack” on the Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D programs as part of Obamacare that will result in higher costs and less health care options for seniors, according to a U.S. House subcommittee.

The administration is quietly introducing “policies that would undermine the integrity and success of the Medicare Part D program” according to the subcommittee. President Bush signed Medicare Part D into law in 2003 to subsidize prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries.

The Daily Caller has learned that the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing Feb. 26 in Room 2123 of the Rayburn Building entitled, “Messing with Success: How CMS’s Attack on the Part D Program Will Increase Costs and Reduce Choices for Seniors.”

The administration’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a division of Kathleen Sebelius’ Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), recently introduced a new proposed rule on the Federal Register called “Medicare Program: Contract Year 2015 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs.”

The new rule “would revise the Medicare Advantage (MA) program (Part C) regulations and prescription drug benefit program (Part D) regulations to implement statutory requirements; strengthen beneficiary protections; exclude plans that perform poorly; improve program efficiencies; and clarify program requirements,” according to the Federal Register.

The rule states that it also aims “to implement certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act.”

The new rule’s stated desire to “strengthen our ability to identify strong applicants for Part C and Part D program participation and remove consistently poor performers” would give the Obama administration new authority to limit health insurance and prescription drug providers under the Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D programs.

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