Medicare Advantage: fear and loathing on the special interest trail


Fill in the blank: I’m (someone/something) and I vote. Today it’s the senior citizens’ turn, or rather, the insurance industry lobbyists’, who claim that the proposed $200 million cuts to Medicare Advantage will hurt seniors, leading to higher costs, lower benefits and more limited choices of providers and coverage options.

Underwritten by the Coalition for Medicare Choices (a national grassroots organization of 1.5 million members “working together to protect Medicare Advantage”), the new TV spot features a very pale assortment of beneficiaries (mostly stern-looking white women), all extolling the wonders of the program and urging legislators and others to fight against the potential devastation the cuts will bring. Although it is never mentioned by name, that old nemesis, the Affordable Care Act (which calls for a 6.5% reduction to the program) is the villain of the story.

None of the speakers looks very happy–and no wonder. They’ll be learning about the new rates in October, right before the elections. So if anyone should be scared, it’s Congress (and Obamacare supporters). Hence, the last line delivered in an ominous tone: “you know, we vote.” Overall, it’s a nasty piece of work.

If only the rest of us, not to mention the “beneficiaries” of Medicaid, SNAP, unemployment insurance and the ACA, had such fierce protectors!

This is the first in a random series of what we hope will be fair and balanced observations on advocacy advertising during the 2014 election season. Feel free to send us your candidates for review. After all, we’re creatives and “you know, we vote.”

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