Boehner: House health bill would 'virtually eliminate' Medicare Advantage

The House health reform bill would "virtually eliminate" Medicare Advantage, Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) alleged Friday.

The top House Republican argued that the cuts to Medicare in the House bill unveiled Thursday are so steep that it practically does away with Medicare Advantage, the popular program in which government benefits are administered through private plans.

"This is far beyond slowing the growth of Medicare," Boehner said during an appearance on Fox News. "Reducing the growth is one thing, but when you go in there and virtually eliminate a program millions of seniors depend upon, that violates what the president said."

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"He said if you like your plan, you can keep it," the minority leader added, asserting that the House health bill would essentially force a number of seniors off of Medicare Advantage, against their will.

Boehner's words reference eliminations to inefficiencies and waste within the broader Medicare system contained health reform legislation in order to help finance the $894 billion price tag of the House legislation. According to Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates, the bill would reduce direct spending on Medicare by $426 billion between 2010 and 2019.

The GOP leader reiterated his calls to scrap the bill, a Republican refrain throughout the health debate for weeks and months, arguing instead that the House should pass eight or nine smaller, separate bills dealing with different aspects of reform.