I was surprised to hear that Representative Jason Smith was a recipient of the 2022 Medicare Advantage Champion award. Especially in light of the fact that he received a 0% rating from the Alliance for Retired Americans.
With a little research the reason became blatantly clear. The Better Medicare Alliance recognizes lawmakers who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to supporting seniors’ Medicare Advantage coverage. The organization is funded by the insurance companies United Healthcare, Aetna, and Humana, and has been criticized as a front group for the health insurance industry.
The Alliance for Retired Americans, on the other hand, is a non-profit group that advocates for the the health and economic security of senior citizens. In other words, Smith received an award from for-profit health insurance companies, but a thumbs down from a non-profit group that represents senior citizens.
The Alliance for Retired Americans bases it’s ratings on how legislators vote on bills that benefit senior citizens, and Smith failed this test. This was incredibly evident in his no vote on the Inflation Reduction Act. The Inflation Reduction Act protects Medicare recipients from catastrophic drug costs by phasing in a cap for out-of-pocket costs, establishes a $35 cap for a month’s supply of insulin, and allows Medicare to negotiate prices for drugs.
There is no doubt that this benefits senior citizens and is something that insurance companies don’t want to happen because it will cut into their profits. So Smith is voting how his big money donors want him to vote- not in the best interests of his constituents. When you vote who are you going to vote for? Someone who votes for his big money donors or someone who is voting for your best interests?
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