Conservative group targets Dems over insurance cuts

A major conservative advocacy group is launching a $1 million campaign targeting vulnerable Democratic senators over cuts to Medicare Advantage.

The American Action Network will run TV and Web ads seeking to pressure Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) to oppose cuts to the private insurance option that Democrats have historically derided as a wasteful giveaway to insurance companies.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) last month proposed a 2-percent cut to Medicare Advantage, which is set to be finalized on April 1.

But stakeholders have mounted a massive campaign against Democrats, urging them to pressure the administration to drop the proposed reimbursement cuts, which are supposed to help pay for the Affordable Care Act.

Landrieu and Pryor have already signaled they might oppose the cuts. The Democrats, both up for reelection in 2014 in deep red states, joined 38 other senators earlier this year in signing a letter to the CMS warning about the consequences of potential cuts to the program.

Supporters of the cuts argue they will fight waste and note Medicare Advantage receives more money on average per beneficiary than traditional Medicare.