Last week, Speaker Boehner announced that the House and Senate have agreed on a two month extension of current Medicare payment rates, the payroll tax cut, and unemployment benefits.
My understanding is that the agreement has the House accepting the Senate’s proposal to extend the payroll tax break, unemployment insurance benefits, and current Medicare payment rates through the end of February, along with an agreement with the Senate to appoint a House-Senate conference committee to begin negotiations on a longer-term extension. It remains unclear exactly when the votes in the House and Senate will take place, and at least in the Senate, it will require unanimous consent by all Senators. If it passes both the House and Senate, Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty*
In recent weeks, several Democrats and some health reform advocates including the AMA have joined Republicans in calling for a repeal of provisions in the new health law that create the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). For these people, IPAB represents the worst aspects of the new law–an unelected, centralized planning authority empowered by government to make decisions about the peoples’ health care. Arbitrary cuts to providers, short-sighted decisions that stifle innovation and rationing of care are sure to follow, they claim.
While it’s true that the rules governing IPAB are flawed and should be fixed, eliminating IPAB altogether would be a mistake. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Pizaazz*
Seeing President Obama traveling the land this week, delivering yet more speeches on the critical importance of passing THIS healthcare reform legislation NOW, makes DrRich shake his head in wonderment.
For one thing, the President’s rhetoric on healthcare reform is already stale. As he himself has said, the arguing has gone on long enough; minds are made up. And the President seems to have nothing new to say.
We proles, in fact, know that the status quo is unacceptable, and that the health insurance companies are evil and are assiduously pricing people out of the market just as fast as they can; and we have concluded that something needs to be done. The fact that the majority of us have not made the connection between “something needs to be done” and “this is the only solution that we may consider” is not, as the President has claimed, due to the fact that he hasn’t explained it to us often enough. We just don’t like the solution he and his party have settled upon. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The Covert Rationing Blog*
The Senate, which was supposed to pass an omnibus bill including an extension of uninsurance benefits, an extension of COBRA benefits, and (not incidentally) yet another temporary patch on the 21% cuts in Medicare physician reimbursement, failed to do so on Friday before it adjourned early for the weekend. At least that’s the top-line headline, and most people never read further than that when it comes to wonky policy/process articles like this.
The real reason that the bill is stalled (and that the cuts which are deadlined at 2/28 will go into effect) is, as they say, the Gentlman from Kentucky, Senator Jim Bunning. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Movin' Meat*
Now that the health care bill has been soundly defeated by the election of a single individual to the Senate, the Democratic party is fleeing the House and Senate health care overhaul bills like rats from a burning ship. Sadly Republicans, too, are staying silent with (so far) few rushing forth with their alternative solution to counteract the impasse:
Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, said Democrats were assessing their options on health care. “It’s a timeout,” she said. “The leadership is re-evaluating. They asked us to keep our powder dry.”
Mrs. Feinstein said Congressional leaders should simplify the gigantic health care bill and try to pass parts of it that would be understandable to the public. But she also acknowledged that the odds were long for a far-reaching measure. “I think big, comprehensive bills are very difficult to do in this environment,” she said. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*