10.4 million enrollees, 3,354 plans with an estimated expense, or cost of 12 billion more than treating those same 10.4 million patients with traditional Medicare. Defenders claim that these plans offer expanded benefits, that poorer retirees will not be able to otherwise get, as they cannot afford a supplemental Medicare plan.
The problem lies in the fact that these plans will generate about 157 billion in additional costs over the next decade. Obama has said that he wants a bidding process to cut the proposed expenditures for the Medicare Advantage plans. Baucus, Grassley, et al, would like some other way of solving this problem without cutting payments.
Ahh, the joys of congress. Sen Baucus and Grassley, need to realize, that the pie is only so large, and you cannot simply keep taking MORE out of it, without adjusting the size of the pie. It'll be an interesting debate.