MEDICARE HMOS: HIAA President Defends System
In a letter to the editor of the Washington Post today, Health Insurance Association of America President Bill Gradison responds to a Nov. 23 op-ed by columnist Robert Kuttner in which he argued that Medicare HMOs are failing the elderly. Gradison writes that Kuttner's "knee-jerk opposition to private Medicare HMOs overlooks studies that show that managed care provides health care equal or superior to that of fee-for- service medicine." He points out that 95% of those enrolled in Medicare HMOs are unaffected by the recent pull-outs by large insurers and that the cost savings of Medicare HMOs can "provide financial stability to the fiscally beleaguered Medicare program." He concludes: "But Medicare HMOs can't work if they are required to provide expensive additional services and to endure rate caps that are well below the rate of medical inflation" (12/2).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.