House and Senate aides are optimistic that they can craft a far-reaching package of Medicare changes this spring, after leaving many wants and needs on the cutting room floor in December. The legislation's centerpiece, they said, will probably be an 18-month-long halt to a 10.6 percent cut to Medicare's physician payment rates now scheduled for July 1.
Democratic leaders are discussing the possible inclusion of a temporary increase in federal Medicaid payments in the economic stimulus package they hope to quickly move through Congress and send to President Bush, a congressional aide said.
Most doctors are willing to report and share information about medical mistakes but lack adequate systems to do so, according to a recent government study.
Three long-term care organizations have proposed a restructuring of the current long-term and post-acute care systems that would, they said, encourage individuals to save for their long-term care needs and ease the financial pressure of long-term care expenditures on federal and state budgets.
House and Senate Democrats said the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has no authority to limit states' efforts to extend health coverage to more children through Medicaid.
Democratic presidential candidates are more in step than their Republican counterparts on what Americans want in a health care system overhaul, said authors of a new voter survey. The survey, put together by the Commonwealth Fund, shows that more than 80 percent of those surveyed, regardless of their political party, supported the idea that all employers should be required to provide health care to their workers or pay into a government-run fund to provide the care.