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The Health and Human Services Department is objecting to a mailer that Humana recently sent Medicare recipients.
It warned that "millions of seniors and disabled individuals could lose many ... important benefits and services." The bills in Congress would cut payments to private insurance plans that serve about one-fourth of seniors. Government experts say those plans are overpaid, and lawmakers insist it won't affect benefits.
Congress' chief budget officer is contradicting President Barack Obama's oft-stated claim that seniors wouldn't see their Medicare benefits cut under a health care overhaul.
The head of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Douglas Elmendorf, told senators Tuesday that seniors in Medicare's managed care plans would see reduced benefits under a bill in the Finance Committee.
The bill would cut payments to the Medicare Advantage plans by more than $100 billion over 10 years.
Elmendorf said the changes would reduce the extra benefits that would be made available to beneficiaries.
Critics say the plans are overpaid, while supporters say they work well.
Obama says cuts to Medicare providers won't reduce seniors' benefits.