Brookings Institute’s Bill Galston got together a panel of heavy
hitters in health policy to discuss the present environment
and Medicare. It is worth a view or even to see it in
streaming video from C-SPAN.
The most interesting fact was that between 1998 amd
2007 physicians were able to increase volume and
intensity for their Medicare beneficiaries by 40% while
enduring 5% reduction in payment schedule.
It was also pointed out that up and down the line,
American physicians were paid substantially more
than their … Continue reading »
A recent article from Kaiser Health News
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For more than the 33 years, since I was elected to the U.S. Senate, members of Congress have been working to bend the national health care cost curve. Mainly by changing how the Medicare program pays health care providers. In 1993, President Clinton focused not just on Medicare, but sought to change other policies to reduce the impact of other cost drivers in health care. Part of his effort to expand insurance coverage to … Continue reading »
Somewhere in the polarized policy making process that passes for Congress today is a long-term problem that won’t go away while Congress pretends it doesn’t exist. Back in 1997, the Republican House passed a Balanced Budget Act designed to change the way physicians are paid for services provided Medicare beneficiaries. The Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) limited per service pay increases to the annual percentage increase in Medicare Part B. Along with other Medicare payment provisions in BBA 97, … Continue reading »
Q: What is your take on the new Wyden and Ryan Medicare Overhaul Plan?
A: First, the involvement of Ron Wyden means bipartisanship and bicameraliship in Congress is so unusual as to add credibility to a product that to date has had only Republican sponsors and them divided. Even though the history of reform has some bipartisan demonstrations of the success of the principles involved.
Second, the timing of it means that Republicans are losing confidence in … Continue reading »
Health policy researchers have long agreed that Medicare beneficiaries need to be more involved in making both health care and health insurance decisions. The 1965 Medicare benefit and cost-sharing design has driven up costs and utilization. The availability of Medicare Supplements for a monthly premium makes it possible for beneficiaries to cover a good share of the co-pays included in Part B. When United Health Group landed the contract to be the exclusive supplemental plan endorsed … Continue reading »
Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan takes his position as House Budget chair seriously enough to have put his neck on the political block over the privatizing Medicare combined with a publicly-financed voucher related to the underlying cost of care. From Senators Henry Bellmon (R-OK) and Pete Domenici (R-NM) to Lawton Chiles (D-FL) and Kent Conrad (D-ND), this nation has been blessed with budget chairs willing to bite the budget bullets their colleagues shied away from. Read the take on … Continue reading »
The Healthcare Leadership Council is one of those “umbrella” organizations used by the power structure in the medical industrial complex to occasionally find common cause on health policy. Its CEO is an experienced DC hand and former lobbyist, Mary Grealy. But it’s run by the CEOs of the biggest industries like health insurance, drugs and devices, hospitals, big systems like Mayo/Cleveland, and the newer for-profit chains. These are organizations that President Obama enlisted to help pass his health reform … Continue reading »
Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan takes his position as House Budget chair seriously enough to have put his neck on the political block over the privatizing Medicare combined with a publicly-financed voucher related to the underlying cost of care. From Senators Henry Bellmon (R-OK) and Pete Domenici (R-NM) to Lawton Chiles (D-FL) and Kent Conrad (D-ND), this nation has been blessed with budget chairs willing to bite the budget bullets their colleagues shied away from. Medicare has always been … Continue reading »
As indicated in my last commentary, the health reform believers are all in the business of health care and it’s reform, rather than in the Washington/Baltimore corridor. Medicare providers are doing something right because costs to the program are down substantially, may be a sign that cutting payments arbitrarily in face of improving results may be unwise policy.
Read post by Maggie Mahar, Health Beat, August 12, 2011.
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