Robert Pear in the NYT 7/5/07
Robert Waldmann here 20/12/06
via Kevin Drum
Now with the passage of time the disadvantages of "Medicare advantage" accounts have grown. Currently about one fifth of Medicare recipients use private management, about 4% use fee for service plans and the cost per patient of private fee for service plans is 19% higher (from the NY Times article). In 2004 the Medicare budget was 300 billion making the advantage disadvantage of just the worst of the worst (private fee for service) over $ 2,400,000,000. The estimated cost of medicare for FY 2006 is $ 396,347,000,000 making the advantage disadvantage just from fee for service plans roughly $3,000,000,000.
Of course the big bucks are wasted on private non fee for service plans which are much more common.
Also recipients complain.