Ignagni Testifies Before Senate Finance Committee On Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit

Expresses Support For Prescription Drug Benefit,

Urges Congress to Strengthen Medicare+Choice



Apr 24, 2001, 01:00 ET from American Association of Health Plans

    WASHINGTON, April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- Karen
 Ignagni, President and CEO of the American Association of Health Plans today
 told the Senate Finance Committee that America's health plans support adding a
 prescription drug benefit, and said that strengthening Medicare+Choice should
 be the first step in that process.
     "Medicare+Choice plans stand willing and ready to participate in a well-
 designed Medicare drug program that has adequate and stable funding over
 time," Ignagni told the committee. "AAHP urges the Congress to consider
 carefully the methodology it may use to fund the benefit, especially in light
 of recent reports by the Congressional Budget Office that have suggested a
 comprehensive prescription drug benefit for the Medicare program may be more
 expensive than many thought it would be."
     "Medicare+Choice has the potential to serve as a foundation for the
 Medicare program of the future," Ignagni added.  "With its focus on
 beneficiary choice and private sector participation, the Medicare+Choice
 program is designed to offer Medicare beneficiaries the same health care
 options that are available to Americans who obtain their health coverage
 through the private sector."
     But Ignagni warned that the Medicare+Choice program suffers both from
 inadequate funding and burdensome regulatory requirement, and millions of
 beneficiaries are at risk of losing their access to these prescription drug
 benefits.  Said Ignagni: "We are deeply concerned that the administrative and
 regulatory actions taken by HCFA, together with the unintended results of the
 BBA formula, have undermined the program's stability."
     For a complete copy of Ms. Ignagni's testimony, please visit
 http://www.aahp.org , under press room tab, search releases.
 
     The American Association of Health Plans (AAHP) is the largest national
 trade organization representing more than 1,000 health maintenance
 organizations (HMOs), preferred provider organizations (PPOs), and other
 similar health plans that provide health care coverage to more than 140
 million Americans.
 
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SOURCE American Association of Health Plans
    WASHINGTON, April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- Karen
 Ignagni, President and CEO of the American Association of Health Plans today
 told the Senate Finance Committee that America's health plans support adding a
 prescription drug benefit, and said that strengthening Medicare+Choice should
 be the first step in that process.
     "Medicare+Choice plans stand willing and ready to participate in a well-
 designed Medicare drug program that has adequate and stable funding over
 time," Ignagni told the committee. "AAHP urges the Congress to consider
 carefully the methodology it may use to fund the benefit, especially in light
 of recent reports by the Congressional Budget Office that have suggested a
 comprehensive prescription drug benefit for the Medicare program may be more
 expensive than many thought it would be."
     "Medicare+Choice has the potential to serve as a foundation for the
 Medicare program of the future," Ignagni added.  "With its focus on
 beneficiary choice and private sector participation, the Medicare+Choice
 program is designed to offer Medicare beneficiaries the same health care
 options that are available to Americans who obtain their health coverage
 through the private sector."
     But Ignagni warned that the Medicare+Choice program suffers both from
 inadequate funding and burdensome regulatory requirement, and millions of
 beneficiaries are at risk of losing their access to these prescription drug
 benefits.  Said Ignagni: "We are deeply concerned that the administrative and
 regulatory actions taken by HCFA, together with the unintended results of the
 BBA formula, have undermined the program's stability."
     For a complete copy of Ms. Ignagni's testimony, please visit
 http://www.aahp.org , under press room tab, search releases.
 
     The American Association of Health Plans (AAHP) is the largest national
 trade organization representing more than 1,000 health maintenance
 organizations (HMOs), preferred provider organizations (PPOs), and other
 similar health plans that provide health care coverage to more than 140
 million Americans.
 
                      MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X66472515
 
 SOURCE  American Association of Health Plans