Photo by Georg Arthur Pflueger on Unsplash

Today, Americans for Tax Reform and 15 other conservative think tanks and advocacy groups organized a coalition letter in opposition to the Biden Administration’s recent efforts to undermine the Medicare Advantage (MA) program.

The letter argues that, in addition to being an extremely popular and more efficient form of coverage, Medicare Advantage stands as a protection against a “Medicare for All” system. The reason the Left has mobilized to cut and undermine the program is simple: they want the federal government to have full control over beneficiaries’ care and are deeply uncomfortable with free market competition being used to better the system.

In reality, it is the free market aspects of MA that have made the program so successful. Efforts should seek to improve this vehicle and capitalize on its success – not push people towards less efficient, less popular alternatives.

To read the letter in full, click here or see below.

March 5, 2024

Dear Secretary Xavier Becerra and Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure,

We urge you to resist recent efforts to undermine the Medicare Advantage (MA) program. Beneficiaries are overwhelmingly satisfied with their Medicare Advantage plans, MA plans are a more efficient form of coverage, and the program, with its free market characteristics, stands as a protection against a “Medicare for All” system.

Medicare Advantage health coverage, or Part C, is provided through private plans rather than government-run plans, as it allows private insurance companies to compete for Medicare beneficiaries’ business. This stands in contrast to Traditional, or Fee-for-Service (FFS), Medicare, which is government-run coverage that requires individual enrollees to pay separate monthly premiums for each service rendered.

As it stands, MA is one of the best vehicles within federal health programs to expand healthcare access and promote patient choice. Efforts should seek to improve this vehicle and capitalize on its success – not push people towards less efficient, less popular alternatives.

In January, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) members clashed on which changes to Medicare Advantage they would recommend. As reported in Fierce Healthcare, Brian Miller, a member of the commission, explained that the status report was anti-Medicare Advantage, and only highlighted negative aspects of the program, suggesting bias in the commission.

The Biden Administration has already cut $4.7 billion in Medicare Advantage funding.

Taxpayers and beneficiaries should be concerned that this report is the start of a new effort to deliver more cuts to Medicare Advantage.

Medicare Advantage plans are popularAccording to the Better Medicare Alliance, MA covers 32 million people, accounting for more than 51 percent of people with Medicare. It delivers an average $2,434 more in savings to beneficiaries than those under FFS Medicare. The average premium for 2023 MA plans is $18 per month. Further, it has a 95 percent consumer satisfaction rating.

Medicare Advantage plans deliver more efficient coverage. The Biden Administration’s previous cut was not a serious effort to “reduce spending.”

In reality, Medicare Part A (Medicare hospital coverage) is what is driving the program towards insolvency: last year it lost $3 billion and by 2028 the hospital insurance trust fund will be completely depleted.

On the contrary, according to a report by Milliman, the value of the government’s dollar paid to Medicare Advantage plans is higher than the value of the government’s dollar spent on Traditional Medicare, or FFS Medicare.

Milliman estimates that the value of the reduced cost sharing and additional benefits is $123 per member per month, “$48 for the reduction in cost sharing for Medicare-covered services and $76 for the value of additional benefits not covered by Traditional Medicare.” In all, Medicare Advantage adds $32.5 billion in value to the federal government and beneficiaries.

If truth be told, efforts to gut Medicare Advantage are calculated steps towards establishing Medicare for All.  The motivation behind undermining Part C is obvious: the Left is uncomfortable with the competitive, free-market aspects of Medicare Advantage and they would much rather have government-run Medicare for All. Understandably, central planners are not thrilled that the introduction of free market competition within Medicare has proven successful.

Once again, we urge you to resist recent efforts to undermine the Medicare Advantage program. If the Biden Administration is serious about reducing costs, it would focus on the primary drivers of insolvency – not gutting a highly popular, more efficient form of coverage.


Grover Norquist

President, Americans for Tax Reform

Bob Carlstrom

President, AMAC Action

Phil Kerpen

President, American Commitment

Brent Gardner

Chief Government Affairs Officer, Americans for Prosperity

Ryan Ellis

President, Center for a Free Economy

Jeffrey Mazzella

President, Center for Individual Freedom

Tom Schatz

President, Citizens Against Government Waste

Elizabeth Hicks

U.S. Policy Analyst, Consumer Choice Center

George Landrith

President, Frontiers of Freedom

Grace-Marie Turner

President, Galen Institute

Seton Motley

President, Less Government

Charles Sauer

President, Market Institute

Tom Hebert

Executive Director, Open Competition Center

Lorenzo Montanari
Executive Director, Property Rights Alliance

Saulius “Saul” Anuzis

President, 60 Plus Association

James L. Martin

Founder/Chairman, 60 Plus Association

David Williams

President, Taxpayer Protection Alliance