Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Intergenerational Approach?

Tomorrow the House Energy and Commerce Committee will consider legislation that would reauthorize and expand SCHIP and make revisions to Medicare. The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to take up the legislation on Thursday.

While the Senate SCHIP bill does not include Medicare provisions, Congress Daily reports that the House bill would increase SCHIP funding by $50 billion over five years while also tackling many of the Medicare reforms sought by healthcare and seniors’ advocates, including the National Committee. Congress daily reports:

“The bill would also: reverse a scheduled cut in Medicare payments to physicians and provide a modest increase in fees for each of the next two years,abolish a provision of the 2003 Medicare law that mandates the president propose changes in Medicare to limit the program's reliance on general revenue, give state insurance commissioners more power to regulate the marketing of private MA plans by agents and brokers, reduce payments to private MA plans, which are estimated to be 12% higher than payments to the traditional program for equivalent benefits, increase reimbursement rates for rural health providers in 2008 and provide larger subsidies to lower-income beneficiaries.”

Kaiser Daily Health Report provides a good roundup of the latest SCHIP/Medicare coverage today.

The Senate and House leadership say they want to pass SCHIP legislation before the August recess.

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