Stark: Medicare’s the better deal

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Friday, February 28, 2003

WASHINGTON - Congressman Pete Stark can’t understand why the administration and the new Senate majority leader is so high on shifting Medicare beneficiaries from fee-for-service to private HMOs. When it comes to efficiency, Stark argues that Medicare consistently outperforms private health insurers.

“Medicare increased payments to providers such as hospitals, home health agencies, and nursing homes and still managed to keep overall spending growth to 7.8% in 2001,” Stark said In January. “Meanwhile, private insurance premiums went up by 10.5%.”

Stark doesn’t believe private insurers can outperform Medicare unless they cut benefits, lower payments to providers and shift more cost to seniors and disabled Americans. HME

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