That's the sort of headline I wanted to see today. Instead we got stories like this one from the pro-war WaPo. You only need to read the mindless regurgitation of BushCo's baseless position on the Medicare Advantage boondoggle, which suffered a small setback in this bill, to know that you should be looking elsewhere for information:
Bush said the cuts to insurers would harm the managed-care program, which his administration sees as giving seniors more choices and eventually leading to lower health costs for the federal government.
I see eating two cups a day of Edy's Grand Ice Cream as giving me all the calcium I'll ever need and eventually leading to lower body mass and toned abs. See the problem?
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released a good statement on the veto. From it:
Under the bill, overall enrollment in Medicare Advantage (the program through which Medicare beneficiaries can elect to receive coverage through private insurance companies instead of regular Medicare) would still climb by 25 percent over the next five years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Also, enrollment in private fee-for-service plans within Medicare Advantage would still be expected to increase by 39 percent by 2013 — even though it costs the federal government 17 percent more to cover a beneficiary under private fee-for-service plans than under regular Medicare, on average, according to Congress's expert Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.
The bill would, however, require private fee-for-service plans to establish adequate provider networks and collect data on the quality of health care they provide, as other Medicare Advantage plans already must do. By making them compete on a more equal basis with other private plans, the bill would slow their explosive and thus costly enrollment growth. This, in turn, would produce part of the savings that offset the bill’s overall cost, while improving access to care among beneficiaries enrolled in these plans.
There's an easy way to produce $157B in savings over ten years: end Medicare Advantage overpayments completely. But, you know, babysteps. Plus BushCo had his butt handed to him. So it was a good day.