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The Future of Medicare Advantage

Recorded on September 10, 2008

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

With the passage of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, Congress enacted an entitlement to prescription drugs.  But perhaps even more significantly, Congress created Medicare Advantage, a new system of competing private health insurance plans that offers an integrated package of health benefits as an alternative to traditional Medicare.  Enrollment in Medicare Advantage has since grown rapidly, capturing approximately 20 percent of the entire Medicare population.  Senior and disabled citizens have access to a variety of health plans options, and a broader set of health benefits.  Independent research indicates that they get superior value for their dollars. 

Yet many in Congress oppose the Medicare Advantage program and wish to stop and reverse its growth.  Is the federal government overpaying Medicare Advantage plans?  Are seniors really getting a better deal with these private plans?  Are they more efficient?  Do they offer better value?  What is the truth about their administrative costs?  Is Medicare Advantage a base for transition to a new, consumer-driven Medicare program for the Baby Boomers?  Join us as our panelists address these and other questions about the Medicare Advantage system.