New administration figures aim to show health law strengthened private Medicare plans

The administration also pointed out that:

• On average, there are 26 Medicare Advantage plans to choose from in nearly every county across the country;

• Access to Medicare Advantage remains strong, with 99.7 percent of Medicare beneficiaries having access to a Medicare Advantage plan; and

• Since passage of the law in 2010, Medicare Advantage premiums have fallen by 16 percent and enrollment has climbed by 17 percent.

White House deputy chief of staff Nancy-Ann DeParle made the same arguments over on the White House blog.

"This is another myth from opponents of health reform debunked by results," she wrote. "Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicare is stronger than ever."

The insurance industry group America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) said credit should go to their plans, which do more than traditional Medicare to offer innovative services such as care coordination that improve the quality of care for patients. And AHIP points out that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has projected a sharp decrease in Medicare Advantage enrollment — down to a low of 7.5 million in 2018 — starting next year.