What is Medicare Advantage? Is it a program that could reduce the cost of your monthly premiums? Or is it a program that is merely a “slush fund” used by politicians to enrich themselves and the corporations that own them?
It is neither a plan nor a program. Medicare Advantage is nothing more than a “a structure” to take care of the drug costs of the seniors. It is a part of the system that reduces the costs for drugs purchased by seniors.
You may think that this is a good thing, but it isn’t. The Senior Citizens Health Care Program, which was part of the Medicare program has been described as “Medicare Advantage on Steroids.” By any definition, Medicare Advantage is nothing more than a way for senior citizens to make money by taking care of other people’s drug costs.
Let me tell you why I’m not buying the argument that Medicare Advantage is a part of the program. It isn’t. The medical industry doesn’t care whether you have Medicare or a private insurance plan. They care about the amount of money they can make off of what you are paying for drugs.
If the medical industry can only get a piece of the pie they make in profits they are going to push the envelope even further. Now the problem is that senior citizens are going to take care of these drug costs as best as they can because of the fact that it is the best they can do.
That’s the whole reason why Medicare Advantage is a failure. And you shouldn’t expect your government to fix a broken health care system by simply giving it another name. We cannot just change Medicare Advantage into something else and expect it to work.
First of all, Medicare Advantage is not a program. It is a structure that allows the drug companies to pay less than what they otherwise would for drugs. This is a form of corporate welfare that we don’t want.
Second, there is no national organization that creates Medicare Advantage plans. It is a very complex industry with many different players and no official regulatory body that oversee it.
Third, the penalties and benefits for Medicare Advantage plans are still negotiated between the drug companies and the health insurance companies. So it will take some time before you can really see if these plans work or not. If they don’t work then they never did.
Fourth, a lot of the over-the-counter drugs that are Medicare Advantage plans are a complete waste of money. I used to see these as a member of the “Don’t Buy Drugs from Big Pharma” website.
When the pharmaceutical companies come to Congress to lobby them to keep these plans around Medicare Advantage is not doing them any favors. If you are looking for a way to reduce your drug costs then you should consider the prescription drug discount cards.
Finally, the Medicare Advantage plan that I wrote about in my earlier article, known as Pharmacy Modernization Initiative, is what is needed to lower your drug costs. If the Congress did not give a concession to the drug companies for this plan then the whole concept of Medicare Advantage would go away.