The Political Advantage of Medicare Advantage

17 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2019

Date Written: 2019


Federal entitlement programs are in the crosshairs. The Congressional Budget Office has projected that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed into law in December 2017 “increases the total projected deficit over the 2018–2028 period by about $1.9 trillion.” Following passage of the law, House Speaker Paul Ryan made it clear Republicans believed cuts needed to be made in Medicare and Medicaid, and other conservative thought leaders have followed suit. The House Republican budget unveiled in June 2018 would have cut $537 billion from Medicare, among other health care cuts.

But not all of Medicare is necessarily at risk. Indeed, there is one potential cost-savings target that is sacrosanct to both political parties — Medicare Advantage. How did this costly private insurance option become untouchable? It is a story that proves bipartisanship isn’t dead.

Keywords: Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Insurance, Entitlements

JEL Classification: I11, I13, I18

Suggested Citation

Williams, Brendan, The Political Advantage of Medicare Advantage (2019). 48 Southwestern Law Review 133-49 (2019). Available at SSRN: or

Brendan Williams (Contact Author)

Attorney licensed in state of WA ( email )

United States
3607913979 (Phone)

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