Auditors call for end to Medicare bonus program

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Associated Press

Posted on April 22, 2012 at 10:02 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 23 at 6:02 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Government auditors are calling on the Obama administration to cancel an $8 billion Medicare quality bonus program that congressional Republicans have criticized as political.

The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office says in a report to be released Monday that most of the money slated for quality bonuses to Medicare Advantage insurance plans would go to ones rated merely average, offsetting much of the initial impact of cuts under the new health care law.

GAO is the investigative agency of Congress.

Medicare Advantage plans are private insurance alternatives to the traditional program, and very popular with seniors. They are slated for cuts under the health care law, to correct years of overpayments.

The administration says it disagrees with the GAO findings and believes the bonuses will improve the quality of care.

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