Both Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee praised a Medicare Advantage program proposal offered by insurers.
Committee members implied that Medicare Advantage program critics will have a tough time getting Congress to cut program appropriations.
Several senators questioned national data indicating that Medicare Advantage is more costly than the basic Medicare fee-for-service program.
“We need regional data,” said Sen. Ronald Wyden, D-Ore. “National data is masking what is going on in our state. We have to make decisions by region, and we don’t have adequate data to do that.”
Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the committee, made the same point in his opening statement.
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the most senior Republican, got witnesses to predict that Medicare Advantage cuts would affect many beneficiaries living both in cities and in rural areas.