Medicare Advantage is a Medicare carve-out that allows private insurers to offer plans for seniors. The original vision for the program was simple enough: Private competition will drive costs down. The private market, as you may have heard, is more efficient and effective and adaptable. No reason seniors shouldn't benefit from that ingenuity. So Medicare would give private insurers the money it would spend on a beneficiary, and the private insurers could try to do a better job with it. Medicare Advantage, however, failed in its mission: prices shot up. Private insurers complained that they couldn't compete with Medicare for the same amount of money Medicare spends.
(Emphasis supplied.) And yet, Ezra tells us that exchanges, the private market, will be the magic wand that fixes health care. Which makes this line from Ezra ironic -- "faced with an instance where the government program proved relatively lean and efficient, and the private market expensive and wasteful, Republicans have mounted a ferocious defense of the market's right to continue burning through taxpayer dollars." Ezra's insistence that an exchange with a mandate without a public option is the magic bullet for health care reform is pretty much what he is criticizing Republicans for on Medicare Advantage.
Speaking for me only
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