Washington Health Policy Week in Review

Washington Health Policy Week in Review is a weekly newsletter that offers selected stories from the daily newsletter CQ HealthBeat.

Grapevine: People on the Move

James R. Tallon Jr., has been named chairman of The Commonwealth Fund. Tallon served as a director of the Fund since 1996 and is a member of its Executive and Finance Committee.

Kennedy, Dingell Offer Universal Coverage Bill

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., and Rep. John D. Dingell, D-Mich., announced the introduction of a bill that would cover all Americans by opening up the Medicare program to Americans under age 65.

Latest Projections Show a Brief Reprieve for Social Security, Medicare

Trustees for Social Security and Medicare issued their annual report, providing the latest assessment of the looming financial crunch for the two giant entitlement programs. The new report shows both trust funds in slightly better shape than last year's projections, but the long-term picture remains gloomy.

Medicare Drug Costs May be Heading for Faster Growth

Brightening the gloomy details of the new Medicare Trustees' report was a bit of good news: Medicare prescription drug spending is well below projections and in-patient hospitalizations dipped sharply in 2006. But leading Medicare analysts at a post-mortem on the report forecasted those trends may not endure.

Rockefeller, Snowe Unveil SCHIP Measure

A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation to reauthorize and expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to cover an additional six million children over the next decade.

Stark Plans July Bill to Cut Medicare Advantage Payments

The chairman of a powerful House subcommittee said that he plans to introduce legislation by July to cut spending on Medicare to free money to avert a large reduction in the program's reimbursements to doctors and increase benefits for seniors.