Many Medicare beneficiaries will have fewer drugs to choose from next year and will pay more for them, according to a new analysis from the health care consulting firm Avalere Health.
Max Baucus, the head of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, laid down a marker on a health care overhaul, declaring his independence from other power brokers and signaling that Congress would not wait for the new president to move forward on the issue.
One former House staffer and one former Clinton administration official became the latest to be tapped to manage the Obama administration's transition activities for the Department of Health and Human Services.
First up on the Ways and Means health agenda next year will be "deferred maintenance"--passing measures opposed or neglected by the Bush administration such as the State Children's Health Insurance Program expansion vetoed by the White House--and "rebasing" physician spending in Medicare to eliminate the need for costly temporary payment patches. So said Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Pete Stark, D-Calif., in a press briefing laying out the subcommittees' health care agenda for next year.
Medical patients in the United States are significantly more likely to call for an overhaul of their country's health care system than patients elsewhere in the world, according to findings released by the Commonwealth Fund.
Gene Sperling, who served as a top economic adviser in the Clinton White House, joined with Gov. Janet Napolitano, D-Ariz., and other governors in calling for an increase of $40 to $50 billion over a two-year period in federal Medicaid spending. But two other witnesses who also testified at the hearing by the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee differed with Sperling and Napolitano over adding Medicaid money to a new economic stimulus package.