The Wharton Business School studied the effect that the federal government’s increase in payments to the Medicare Advantage (MA)plans, to determine if the Obamacare cuts to MA plans would have a negative effect on MA “quality.” Congress is planning to cut payments to MA plans and traditional Medicare in order to support the Affordable Care Act. This Wharton study supports the efficacy of the Medicare Advantage program as a solution to the need of the American people for a national health plan that delivers the highest quality of medical care for the lowest possible cost. They found the major impact of increased federal funding was an increase in the competition among the health plans, but not necessarily “better benefits” for MA beneficiaries. When CMS authorized increased payments to MA Plans, one of their goals was to cover more seniors, in more areas with more plans, and that is exactly what happened. This study was completed in 2014 and before many of the newer studies
which demonstrate improved quality of care, especially for high-risk seniors.