House Democratic leaders likely will not hold another vote on an expansion of children's health insurance, figuring that they still cannot overcome President Bush's veto of the bill and that they do not want to give vulnerable Republicans an opportunity to change their positions on the issue.
Paying health care providers more to do quality work and insisting they abide by a set of minimum quality standards would go a long way toward improving the quality of medical care that patients receive, witnesses told the Senate Finance Committee.
The United States would be better off designing its own health care plan from the ground up rather than emulating the health systems of its neighbors, panelists at a forum hosted by U.S. Chamber of Commerce said.
A House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee hearing suggested that after years of short-term patches to head off payment cuts, lawmakers at last may be taking on the heavy burden of trying to fundamentally overhaul Medicare's troubled physician payment system. Ironically, what may be driving them to finally confront the problem is the quiet recognition that they are going have to abandon the fiscal discipline involved in the system now in order to complete the overhaul of a payment formula widely viewed as no longer tenable.
Congressional Democrats and liberal analysts are taking aim at a proposed transformation of the Rhode Island Medicaid program, saying it would set a dangerous precedent that would end Medicaid as an entitlement if widely followed by other states.
Panelists at a Washington, D.C., forum offered a sober assessment of the prospects for redesigning the health care system around the concept of a "medical home," but at the same time offered some evidence of its tantalizing potential.