Senator Bill Nelson Renews Push to Shield Seniors from Obama Cuts

Sep 21, 2009 5:22pm

Yesterday I had a lively exchange with President Obama about Senator Bill Nelson’s plan to shield current Medicare beneficiaries from cuts in the Medicare Advantage program that the President
supports. Senator Nelson has finalized his amendments, which he says will prevent cuts to
people now relying on Medicare Advantage but also crack down on insurance companies over the
long term.

No word yet from Congressional Budget Office on how much the Medicare Advantage amendments would cost, or whether they would push the Baucus bill back into the red – especially when combined with other likely amendments that would increase subsidies to middle class families.

Most sources I spoke with expect the Nelson amendment to pass.  Less clear is how to make up for the
cost.  There just aren’t that many palatable ideas out there.  But Senate Democrats insist they won’t
bring a bill to the floor that doesn’t meet the President’s bottom line: deficit neutrality.

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