The Bush administration rejected a request by the state of New York to expand subsidized children's health insurance to middle-income families, further inflaming a fight with Congress over the program. New York requested permission from the government in April to expand its State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to cover children from families earning up to four times the poverty level, or $82,600 for a family of four--the largest proposed expansion to date.
Leading House Democrats said that they will negotiate compromise children's health insurance legislation informally with their Senate counterparts if Senate Republicans continue to block a formal conference committee on the bill.
With a presidential veto threat and other health-related legislative priorities filling the legislative calendar, Congress is not likely to clear a bill this year that would give the government power to negotiate Medicare drug prices.
Low-income people enrolled in Medicare private fee-for-service plans and living in poorer counties pay more for their health care than those enrolled in the same plans in neighboring, more affluent areas, according to a new study from the Medicare Rights Center.
Reductions in Medicare physician payment rates would not only restrict beneficiaries' access to physician services but will also cause staffing reductions in doctors' offices, according to a new survey from the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).
Supporters of legislation that would speed up insurer payments to pharmacies under Medicare's new drug benefit are hoping to pass their bill by Thanksgiving. But so far, House leaders haven't placed the popular measure (HR 1474), which has 199 cosponsors, on the fall schedule.