The largest-ever Medicare premium increase will pad the pockets of insurance executives who donated millions to the president’s election campaign.

By Matthew Cunningham-Cook, The Lever

Last week, the Biden administration quietly reaffirmed its decision to enact the highest Medicare premium hikes in history right before this year’s midterm elections. At the same time, President Joe Biden is endorsing a plan to funnel significantly more Medicare money to insurance companies and further privatize the government insurance program for older Americans and those with disabilities.

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In effect, the higher premium increases will subsidize the larger payments to — and profits for — private insurance corporations. This comes after Biden raked in roughly $47 million from health care industry executives during his 2020 campaign.

The Biden administration announced on May 27 that due to “legal and operational hurdles,” Medicare recipients won’t see their premiums lowered this year, even though that rate was originally hiked last November in large part due to the projected costs of paying for a controversial Alzheimer’s drug that Medicare now says it generally will not cover.

The administration’s announcement comes as Biden officials move forward with a jolting 8.5 percent hike in payments made to private insurers operating Medicare Advantage plans next year.

The juxtaposition between dramatically increasing payments to private insurance plans that provide less care for higher costs on the one hand, and keeping seniors’ premiums artificially inflated on the other, underscores the Biden administration’s conflicting commitments when it comes to Medicare. On the 2020 campaign trail, Biden pledged as president to “…continue to defend our nation’s commitment to older Americans and people with disabilities through Medicare.”

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