About a month ago, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a proposal to cut payment rates to private insurers who administer Medicare Advantage, a popular alternative to the government-run health program for seniors.  Republicans were and still are outraged with the proposed cuts, arguing that they will have negative effects on the nation's seniors, leaving them with higher costs and fewer choices.  "The last time the Medicare Advantage program was cut significantly, millions of seniors across the country saw higher premiums, a reduction in benefits and loss of coverage," said a memo released Monday from America's Health Insurance Plans, which referred to the cuts in 1997.  "The new cuts would have a devastating effect on seniors in the program," AHIP spokesman Robert Zirkelbach said. "We wanted to remind folks that we saw what happened last time payments were cut."  Here is what leaders in Congress had to say: