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Letter to the Hon. Seema Verma, Administrator of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services - Guthrie Leads Effort to Protect Medicare Program

Letter

By: Carol Miller, Alex Mooney, David McKinley, Mike Gallagher, Sean Duffy, Glenn Grothman, Gwen Moore, Ron Kind, Mark Pocan, Bryan Steil, Denny Heck, Adam Smith, Kim Schrier, Derek Kilmer, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Dan Newhouse, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Rick Larsen, Suzan DelBene, Gerry Connolly, Jennifer Wexton, Morgan Griffith, Abigail Spanberger, Denver Riggleman III, Donald McEachin, Elaine Luria, Ben McAdams, John Curtis, Chris Stewart, Rob Bishop, Brian Babin, Marc Veasey, Colin Allred, John Carter, Henry Cuellar, Michael Cloud, Kenny Marchant, Will Hurd, Pete Olson, Jodey Arrington, Bill Flores, Vicente Gonzalez, Randy Weber, Sr., Mac Thornberry, Mike Conaway, Michael McCaul, Lizzie Fletcher, Ron Wright, Lance Gooden, John Ratcliffe, Dan Crenshaw, Steve Cohen, David Kustoff, Mark Green, John Rose, Scott DesJarlais, Chuck Fleischmann, Tim Burchett, Phil Roe, Tom Rice, Ralph Norman, Jr., William Timmons, Jeff Duncan, Joe Wilson, Sr., Mike Doyle, Jr., Conor Lamb, Mike Kelly, Jr., GT Thompson, Jr., Guy Reschenthaler, John Joyce, Lloyd Smucker, Scott Perry, Dan Meuser, Susan Wild, Chrissy Houlahan, Mary Scanlon, Madeleine Dean, Dwight Evans, Brendan Boyle, Brian Fitzpatrick, Kurt Schrader, Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Tom Cole, Frank Lucas, Markwayne Mullin, Anthony Gonzalez, Steve Stivers, Dave Joyce, Tim Ryan, Marcia Fudge, Mike Turner, Bob Gibbs, Bill Johnson, Bob Latta, Brad Wenstrup, Steve Chabot, Chris Collins, Brian Higgins, Joe Morelle, John Katko, Tom Reed II, Anthony Brindisi, Elise Stefanik, Paul Tonko, Antonio Delgado, Sean Maloney, Eliot Engel, José Serrano, Adriano Espaillat, Yvette Clarke, Nydia Velázquez, Gregory Meeks, Kathleen Rice, Thomas Suozzi, Pete King, Lee Zeldin, Steven Horsford, Susie Lee, Dina Titus, Mikie Sherrill, Don Payne, Jr., Tom Malinowski, Joshua Gottheimer, Chris Smith, Andy Kim, Jeff Van Drew, Donald Norcross, Ann Kuster, Chris Pappas, Adrian Smith, Kelly Armstrong, Ted Budd, Alma Adams, Mark Meadows, Richard Hudson, Jr., David Rouzer, George Holding, Greg Gianforte, Michael Guest, Bennie Thompson, Trent Kelly, Jason Smith, Billy Long, Sam Graves, Vicky Hartzler, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Ann Wagner, Lacy Clay, Jr., Peter Stauber, Collin Peterson, Tom Emmer, Ilhan Omar, Betty McCollum, Dean Phillips, Angie Craig, Jim Hagedorn, Brenda Lawrence, Paul Mitchell, Tim Walberg, Fred Upton, Dan Kildee, John Moolenaar, Bill Huizenga, Jack Bergman, Anthony Brown, Stephen Lynch, Jim McGovern, Garret Graves, Ralph Abraham, Mike Johnson, Clay Higgins, Cedric Richmond, Andy Barr, Hal Rogers, John Yarmuth, James Comer, Jr., Ron Estes, Steven Watkins, Jr., Roger Marshall, Trey Hollingsworth III, Larry Bucshon, André Carson, Susan Brooks, Jim Baird, Jim Banks, Jackie Walorski, Darin LaHood, Cheri Bustos, Adam Kinzinger, John Shimkus, Lauren Underwood, Rodney Davis, Mike Bost, Brad Schneider, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Danny Davis, Russ Fulcher, Steve King, Cindy Axne, Dave Loebsack, Abby Finkenauer, Tulsi Gabbard, Edward Case, Tom Graves, Jr., David Scott, Rick Allen, Barry Loudermilk, Jody Hice, Austin Scott, Rob Woodall, Lucy McBath, Drew Ferguson, Buddy Carter, Donna Shalala, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Mario Diaz-Balart, Frederica Wilson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel, Alcee Hastings, Sr., Francis Rooney, Brian Mast, Greg Steube, Vern Buchanan, Ross Spano, Charlie Crist, Jr., Gus Bilirakis, Daniel Webster, Val Demings, Darren Soto, Bill Posey, Stephanie Murphy, Michael Waltz, Al Lawson, Jr., John Rutherford, Ted Yoho, Neal Dunn, Matt Gaetz, Eleanor Norton, Jim Himes, John Larson, Doug Lamborn, Ken Buck, Scott Tipton, Joe Neguse, Diana DeGette, Scott Peters, Duncan Hunter, Mike Levin, Harley Rouda, Alan Lowenthal, Lou Correa, Katie Porter, Nanette Barragán, Ken Calvert, Mark Takano, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Gil Cisneros, Linda Sánchez, Raul Ruiz, Norma Torres, Jimmy Gomez, Ted Lieu, Grace Napolitano, Pete Aguilar, Brad Sherman, Tony Cárdenas, Adam Schiff, Julia Brownley, Katie Hill, Salud Carbajal, T. J. Cox, Jimmy Panetta, Zoe Lofgren, Jim Costa, Eric Swalwell, Mark DeSaulnier, Ami Bera, Doris Matsui, Mike Thompson, Doug LaMalfa, Greg Stanton, Debbie Lesko, Ruben Gallego, Andy Biggs, Ann Kirkpatrick, Tom O'Halleran, Aumua Amata Radewagen, Bruce Westerman, Steve Womack, French Hill, Rick Crawford, Terri Sewell, Robert Aderholt, Mike Rogers, Martha Roby, Bradley Byrne, Donald Young, Brett Guthrie
Date: Feb. 7, 2019
Location: Washington, DC

Dear Administrator Verma:

We write to express strong bipartisan support for the Medicare Advantage program, which 39.2 percent of eligible Medicare beneficiaries, more than 22 million people, choose to enroll in. We appreciate your ongoing commitment to preserving and strengthening the Medicare Advantage program for current and future Medicare beneficiaries. As the Administration considers updates to the program for plan year 2020, we urge you to ensure that the Medicare Advantage program will continue to offer affordable, high-quality, patient-centered coverage options.

Millions of seniors depend on Medicare Advantage plans to provide comprehensive, affordable health care as they age. The success of the Medicare Advantage program is demonstrated by survey findings showing that more than 90 percent of beneficiaries report high satisfaction with their coverage.[1] In 2019, average premiums decreased by an estimated 6 percent while enrollment is projected to increase by almost 12 percent.[2] Further, the average number of plan choices has increased.

Medicare Advantage offers care coordination, disease management programs, out-of-pocket spending limits, access to community-based programs, additional supplemental benefits such as vision and dental coverage, and often prescription drug coverage for no additional premium. Moreover, due to recent changes included in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, an estimated 1.5 million beneficiaries will have access to expanded supplemental benefits such as adult day care services and in-home and caregiver support services. Other new flexibilities will foster greater competition and reduce costs for beneficiaries and taxpayers.

For plan year 2020, we urge the Administration to continue its efforts to promote flexibility and innovation, support value-based arrangements with health care providers, and ensure that any substantive changes to the Medicare Advantage program provide plan sponsors with sufficient time for thorough evaluation and implementation. We also encourage the Administration to build on the enhanced supplemental benefits that were offered this plan year by providing additional flexibility to help drive the next generation of innovative approaches in Medicare to improve health outcomes, while also maintaining robust beneficiary protections.

We look forward to continuing to work with you to further strengthen the Medicare Advantage program and ensure millions of seniors have access to comprehensive, affordable health coverage choices.

Sincerely,


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