As posted multiple times over the last two months, the 2012 MedPAC Data Book is out. It has major problems as a good data source on Medicare except for one overriding characteristic: it is the only source we have.
And although I question the fact that none of the DataBook is mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive the way good research should be, if one piece of data in Section 5 of the DataBook is true it puts the lie to the oft-quoted Democratic Party lie about insurance-company cherry picking in Medicare Part C, Medicare Advantage.
You definitely could argue that there is some kind of cherry picking going on among Medigap beneficiaries and seniors with employee retirement insurance. But that could also simply be because people who worked until they retired at Medicare age are in better health than those that don't, and people that can afford Medigap are rich and rich people are healthier than poor people. Whichever, the Democratic Party claim against Part C insurers is a lie.
According to the data, Medicare Part C Advantage beneficiaries seem to self report their health situation (see circled area) at about the same proportion (23%-27% in this version of the Data Book) as Medicare Part C is a part of the overall Medicare population with those reporting good/fair health actually the largest cohort, larger than those reporting both excellent and poor health.
The data would be more telling if MedPAC has split good from fair but that kind of precision would be irrelevant given all the numbers. You would need to see splits of 10 or more percent among these groups to see any kind of statistical significance. You would have to see a split 20 or more points in favor of excellent to make a finding of cherry picking.
Another Democratic-Party lie, repeated over and over and over again by the Disney News Channel, the New York Times and similar decrepit journalists, bites the dust.
-- Dennis Byron