GOP blasts Medicare mailer on health reform

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted June 7, 2010

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A new brochure being mailed out by the Obama administration to Medicare beneficiaries has drawn the ire of some Republican lawmakers who are characterizing some of its contents as false and misleading.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced May 24 that beneficiaries soon would be receiving a brochure detailing benefits they could expect to receive as a result of the health system reform package being enacted earlier this year. "Your guaranteed Medicare benefits won't change -- whether you get them through original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan," said Dept. of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

But Sen. Pat Roberts (R, Kan.) took issue with the statement, saying that Medicare Advantage pay cuts would result in less generous benefits packages for those enrolled in the private plans. "This document contains several statements that directly contradict the findings of CMS's own chief actuary," Roberts said in a May 26 letter addressed to Sebelius. The senator requested clarification and also asked that CMS disclose how costs for the mailing were financed.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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