The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bill Nelson's Medicare Advantage gambit

25

September


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When thousands of angry phone calls and letters came, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said he listened. And this week he has thrust himself into the health care debate with a controversial plan to protect seniors covered by Medicare Advantage, a plan some fellow Florida Democrats oppose.

Nelson, who was defeated Thursday in a separate bid to extract tens of billions in additional savings from drugmakers, says he cannot bear to see roughly 800,000 Floridians lose some of the "goodies" they receive from private-run Advantage plans, such as eye care and gym memberships.

"I don't think it's a good thing to go in and tell senior citizens, 'What you have now, you have to give up.' That is a nonstarter," Nelson said Thursday during a Senate Finance Committee meeting.

His amendment to grandfather in existing beneficiaries was postponed after a brief but spirited discussion and could come up for a vote today. It's a white knight appeal to a group of reliable voters, many of whom were urged to contact Nelson by a large Medicare Advantage provider, Humana. (story here)

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 3:19pm]

    

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