Allyson Schwartz, president of Better Medicare Alliance, speaks during an Interview with the Associated Press in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. The group, gaining influence in Washington as a champion for Medicare beneficiaries, is bankrolled by major health insurance companies that are trying to cash in on private coverage offered through the federal health insurance program.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Insurance giants bankroll group that pushes private Medicare

December 21, 2018 - 12:40 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — A group gaining influence in Washington as a champion for Medicare beneficiaries is bankrolled by major health insurance companies that are trying to cash in on private coverage offered through the federal health insurance program.

The Better Medicare Alliance's multi-million dollar budget is supplied by UnitedHealthcare, Aetna and Humana. The three insurance giants account for close to 50 percent of all enrollees in private Medicare Advantage plans and stand to benefit as that part of Medicare keeps growing.

Allyson Schwartz, the Better Medicare Alliance president, rejected any suggestion that the organization is a front for the insurance industry. She says the alliance's funding sources "are well known," even though the names of donors were blacked out of copies of the alliance's tax returns that it provided to The Associated Press.

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