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.

Delay in Doctor Payment Cuts Likely to Be Centerpiece of Medicare Measure

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.

Dems May Seek to Add Temporary Medicaid Spending Hike to Stimulus Package

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.

Doctors Willing to Admit Mistakes, But Unsure About Process

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.

Groups Propose Long-Term Care Overhaul

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.

Lawmakers Blast CMS Actions to Restrict Medicaid Expansions

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.

Survey: Dem '08 Candidates Savvy on Elements of Health Care Overhaul

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.