GOP lawmakers request Medicare enrollment data ahead of healthcare reform changes

Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are asking the agency that oversees Medicare to provide 2010 enrollment data for the Medicare prescription drug program so they can track changes sparked by the healthcare reform law. The open enrollment period for the 2011 Medicare benefits begins Nov. 15.

In a letter sent Friday to acting CMS administrator Marilyn Tavenner, ranking member Joe Barton (R-Texas) and Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) explain they want to be able to monitor the effects of the new healthcare reform law, which cuts billions from the Medicare Advantage program. The cuts, they say, could ultimately reduce enrollment in the Medicare Advantage program by 50 percent. 

"Given this projected drastic shift in Medicare enrollment," they write, "it is important that Members have the most current enrollment data for the beneficiaries in their districts in order to carefully monitor the impact of health reform on their constituents from year to year."

Lawmakers last received enrollment data, for 2009, 14 months ago. The lawmakers want the data within two weeks, broken down by congressional district and by low-income subsidy enrollment, Medicare Advantage and traditional fee-for-service Medicare.