NRLN White Papers

Current White Paper and Talking Points

Updated NRLN White Paper on Subsidies to Insurance Industry for Medicare Advantage

I have updated the NRLN’s white paper for 2021. The title is: It is time to end taxpayer subsidies to the private healthcare insurance industry for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans.

Click here to Read the Document.

Or,

  • Go to www.nrln.org,
  • Cick on the Legislative Agenda tab,
  • Select White Papers and
  • Click on top posting in the healthcare section.

Click here to read the Talking Points.

The NRLN supports competition from private healthcare plans and understands the financial challenges ahead for Medicare and the federal budget. However, we do not support bonus and rebate subsidies, or anti-competitive restrictions placed on the original Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) just to preserve the notion that private insurance plans may be more cost effective or provide better care than FFS, when the record shows they are not.

Congress gave $41.8 billion in illegitimate taxpayer rebates to private insurance companies in 2021 ($450 billion in 24 years) to provide special benefits such as dental, vision and hearing, over the counter drugs and carpet cleaning to 24.9 million MA enrollees that 40 million original Medicare participants are not eligible to receive.

To be very clear, the NRLN supports retirees getting a good deal. As long those in MA plans stay healthy it may cost less out-of-pocket, but MA plans create more long-term risk. Rumblings about poor coverage and unpaid claims are already bubbling. The problem is, lie about it or not, healthcare costs/enrollee are skyrocketing, and MA costs are higher than original Medicare – subsidies deceive us. Soon, everybody in America will pay a heavy price for this congressional maleficence. So far, at least $450 billion and counting.

It’s obvious MA (with various names) was created by members of Congress to privatize Medicare based on private insurers saying they could be competitive with original Medicare. In 2021, MA payments were 104% of the cost for original Medicare Fee-for-Service per enrollee and over the 24 years, THEY NEVER HAVE been below 100%!

Medicare Advantage rebates cost taxpayers $140 per month per enrollee ($1,680 annually) in 2021. That compares with rebates of $81 per month per enrollee ($972 annually) just five years ago in 2016.

It’s time for Congress to end the subsidies and level the playing field for participants in the two programs.

Bill Kadereit
NRLN President

NRLN White Papers

AREF/NRLN WHITE PAPERS/EXECUTIVE SUMMARIES FOR TOP PRIORITY LEGISLATIVE ISSUES

Click on the titles of the White Papers listed below to read and gain an understanding of why the NRLN advocates legislative action to strengthen retirement security.  The White Papers and/or their Executive Summaries are being use to communicate the NRLN’s proposals to U.S. Representatives and Senators and members of their staffs.  NRLN Grassroots Network members are encouraged to use these documents or information from them when writing to and talking with their elected representatives.

Adobe® Reader® is required to view these documents. Please download it by clicking the image to the right.

General

Pension

Health Care

Retirees Testimonials 2013Click Title to Read Testimonials
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Madison, AL Kodak Retiree For seniors, one of our biggest out-of-pocket cost is health insurance. In my case the actual numbers are: Wife per month...Medicare $101.00 Blue Cross/Shield supplement $103.00 Month Total $204.00. Yearly total is $2,448.00. My health insurance expenses are the same--$2,448.00. So the total for the two of us is $4,896.00 annually. Copays will push this out-of-pocket expense over $5,000.00 dollars per year. During the past 3 years we fell into the donut hole with an additional $4,500.00 per year. All this impacts fixed incomes that don't go up. Seniors do not mind paying their fair share. However, how does one define fair share. The high cost of medical premiums are sinking the senior market place. The voting turnout of seniors in 2014 and 2016 will overwhelm politicians.
Retirees Testimonials 2012Click Title to Read Testimonials
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San Diego, CA General Motors Retiree I had built up a reliable 401(k) retirement fund, or so I thought. Then the company went bankrupt (General Motors) and all my GM stock went down the toilet. Then GM took my pension out of their pension trust, guaranteed by the federal Pension Guarantee Corp. and put it into an annuity, unprotected against any losses by that private company. So I live on half the income I expected to have and have little if any guaranty that much of the rest of my income will still be there in the future. Don’t let the government decree that our only retirement income must be from a 401(k). Also, we shouldn’t allow retirement trust funds to be passed off from the protection of the government for the convenience of the corporation whose pension plan we paid into all our working lives.
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