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.

Debt Talks Put Children’s Health Program in Spotlight, Once Again

The Children's Health Insurance Program could take a major hit in coming years because of two proposals under discussion in the ongoing debt ceiling negotiations.

Medicare Safety Project Gets the Nod from 2,000 Hospitals

Rising costs in the health care system are a key issue as lawmakers and the Obama administration negotiate on a deficit reduction plan. Last week, Health and Human Services officials reminded people that the agency is doing its part to bring costs down.

Fight over Medicare Payment Panel to Ramp Up

Supporters and critics of the Independent Payment Advisory Commission, which will recommend Medicare payment cuts when it starts work in 2014, are gearing up for a marathon debate over the issue in two House hearings.

Health Affairs Study: Volume Shapes Medicaid Spending

At a time when many governors are looking to Medicaid as a place to cut costs, a new study found that among some Medicaid patients, interstate variations in spending are shaped more by the volume of care provided to patients than the prices paid for services.

Study Finds Medicaid Benefits Improve Chances for Medical Care, Improved Mental Health

Enrolling in Medicaid increases the chances that patients will get preventive care, see a doctor, and be more content, according to the most comprehensive study in nearly four decades to evaluate the program's impact.

So Far, Exchanges Are a 'Mixed Bag' for Patients, Group Says
The health care law will disappoint many Americans if its health insurance exchanges don't deliver decent coverage at affordable rates for consumers, including those with serious illnesses like cancer. Meeting those expectations may be difficult, judging from comments by a major patient advocacy group as it waits for the Obama administration to release rules governing the development of the exchanges and watches state legislatures draft exchange laws.