Press Releases
July 15, 2020

Better Medicare Alliance Honors Top Congressional Champions of Medicare Advantage for 2020

Senators Mike Crapo and Catherine Cortez-Masto take top honors alongside Representatives Earl Blumenauer, Tony Cárdenas, Ron Estes, Brett Guthrie, Ron Kind, and Mike Kelly


Washington, D.C
. – Better Medicare Alliance (BMA), the leading research and advocacy organization supporting Medicare Advantage, unveiled its 2020 slate of Medicare Advantage champions, giving top honors to a bipartisan roster of eight members of the U.S. House and Senate who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to supporting seniors’ choice of Medicare Advantage coverage.

“Medicare Advantage Champion of the Year” honorees included Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), who co-led the bipartisan Senate letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) urging continued support and stability for Medicare Advantage earlier this year.

House recipients of the “Medicare Advantage Champion of the Year” included Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), Brett Guthrie (R-KY), and Mike Kelly (R-PA) who co-led a companion letter to CMS in the House of Representatives, as well as Representatives Ron Estes (R-KS) and Ron Kind (D-WI) who led on additional legislative priorities to protect Medicare Advantage and served as co-signers of the House letter.

Better Medicare Alliance also recognized a new category of “2020 Breakthrough Champions” not previously honored by Better Medicare Alliance who stood out in efforts to strengthen Medicare Advantage coverage for seniors. Recipients of the first-ever Breakthrough Champion award include Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and Representatives Anthony Brindisi (D-NY), Chrissy Houlihan (D-PA), and Terri Sewell (D-AL).

In addition to these awards, Better Medicare Alliance honored 30 “Medicare Advantage Champions” and 356 “Medicare Advantage Supporters” —the highest number ever recognized by BMA.

“Seniors and those individuals with disabilities who value their Medicare Advantage deserve to see who is standing up for their choice in health coverage on Capitol Hill. From leading the successful fight against the onerous Health Insurance Tax, to advocating for new flexibilities and value-based care in Medicare Advantage, to supporting advances in telehealth amid the COVID-19 pandemic, these bipartisan champions helped build record-breaking support in Congress for Medicare Advantage this year and consistently demonstrated their commitment to innovative solutions to meet seniors’ health care needs,” said Allyson Y. Schwartz, President and CEO of the Better Medicare Alliance. “Medicare Advantage is saving beneficiaries nearly $1,600 a year over Traditional Medicare while delivering better health outcomes and earning an astonishing 99 percent beneficiary satisfaction rate. Championing Medicare Advantage not only shows these members’ willingness to stand up for their constituents but also their leadership in driving affordable, cost-effective coverage and high-quality health care for millions of Medicare beneficiaries. We thank each of them for their commitment to strengthen Medicare Advantage for current and future generations.”

Better Medicare Alliance Congressional Champions released the following statements:

“In Idaho, one in three Medicare beneficiaries have chosen Medicare Advantage, which allows beneficiaries to select a health plan that best suits their individual budget and health needs. Given the successes of Medicare Advantage for many in Idaho and across the nation, I’m committed to ensuring access to this health coverage option,” said Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID). “I am grateful to Better Medicare Alliance for their leadership and for this honor.”

“Health care is personal for Nevadans, which is why I want to make sure that seniors and individuals with disabilities have access to quality, affordable coverage that meets their specific needs,” said Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV). “Better Medicare Alliance has been a trusted advocate for Medicare Advantage, and I have been grateful for their partnership in working to ensure all Nevadans have access to high-quality care.”

“I am proud of my record working to preserve and strengthen Medicare Advantage and the high-quality health plan choices it provides to millions of seniors and individuals with disabilities,” said Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). “I look forward to continuing to work alongside Better Medicare Alliance to ensure this vital coverage option continues to deliver on the promise of value-based care to beneficiaries for years to come.”

“I am honored to be recognized for my work to support the Medicare Advantage program. Millions of Americans rely on the supplemental coverage they receive from Medicare Advantage. In the San Fernando Valley and around Los Angeles, senior citizens and individuals with disabilities know how critical this program is, and they appreciate that Medicare Advantage puts patients first. I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support, protect, and strengthen Medicare Advantage. Because this is not about politics, it is about the health care of American citizens,” said Congressman Tony Cárdenas (D-CA).

“It’s an honor to receive the Champion of the Year award from Better Medicare Alliance,” said Congressman Ron Estes (R-KS). “Medicare Advantage gives seniors peace of mind and comprehensive coverage at an affordable rate. I’ll continue to champion seniors and ensure the programs designed for them are working fairly and efficiently.”

“Thousands of Kentucky’s seniors rely on Medicare Advantage for health care coverage, and I want to ensure Medicare is available for seniors for generations to come,” said Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-KY). “Medicare Advantage gives seniors the flexibility to pursue innovative, supplemental health services tailored to meet their needs. I thank Better Medicare Alliance for this award and for their steadfast efforts on behalf of our nation’s seniors.”

“I’m proud to receive the ‘Champion of the Year’ award, and I look forward to continuing to work across the aisle to ensure Wisconsin seniors have access to affordable, high-quality, and comprehensive health coverage,” said Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI). “Given the growing popularity of the Medicare Advantage program among seniors in Wisconsin, and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, we must work to strengthen the Medicare Advantage program and increase access to quality health care coverage for seniors across the country.”

See the full list of Better Medicare Alliance honorees here.

2020 Medicare Advantage Champions of the Year:
Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV)
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA)
Rep. Ron Estes (R-KS)
Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY)
Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI)
Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA)

2020 Medicare Advantage Breakthrough Champions:
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)
Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-NY)
Rep. Chrissy Houlihan (D-PA)
Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL)

2020 Medicare Advantage Champions:
Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY)
Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)
Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO)
Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL)
Sen. Angus King (I-ME)
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)
Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA)
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ)
Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA)
Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN)
Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO)
Rep. Suzane Delbene (D-WA)
Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA)
Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA)
Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ)
Rep. John Joyce (R-PA)
Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA)
Rep. John Larson (D-CT)
Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX)
Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA)
Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL)
Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ)
Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA)
Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN)
Rep. Dave Schweikert (R-AZ)
Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL)
Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO)
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY)
Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN)

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