Skip to content Skip to navigation

BREAKING NEWS: President Obama, House Republicans Discussing Combining Medicare’s Parts A and B

March 28, 2013
by Mark Hagland
| Reprints
A New York Times report says the President and top House Republicans may work to end the current stalemate over Medicare spending growth

On March 28, The New York Times reported that President Obama and congressional Republicans are discussing seriously the possibility of combining Parts A and B of the Medicare program, with the aim to “produce significant savings and end the politically polarizing debate over Republican plans to privatize the insurance program for older Americans.”

The report, by Jackie Calmes and Robert Pear, noted that, “While the two remain far apart on the central issue of new tax revenue, recent statements from both sides show possible common ground on curbing costs of Medicare, suggesting some lingering chance, however small, for a budget bargain.”

The Times report goes on to say this: “In particular, participants say, the President told House Republicans that he was open to combining Medicare’s coverage for hospitals and doctor services. That would create a single deductible that could increase out-of-pocket costs for many future beneficiaries, but also could pay for a cap on their total expenses and reduce the need to buy Medigap supplementary insurance.”

The report quoted a speech given by Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the number-two House Republican, who had proposed that concept in a speech in February, and posited that, “While Mr. Cantor’s proposal got little attention at the time, its echo by Mr. Obama hints at a new route towards compromise” in the currently deadlocked talks on the federal budget, “in contrast with the budget that House Republicans passed this month that has no chance of Senate approval.”

Healthcare Informatics will post updates on this evolving story for its readers.

Topics

News

CMS Looks to Increase Patient Engagement with New Models

The Centers for Medicare & and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced two new models from the CMS Innovation Center (CMMI) that will aim to increase patient engagement in care decisions by putting more information in the hands of Medicare beneficiaries.

Medtronic, Fitbit Integrating Health and Activity Data for Diabetes Management

Fitness wearables company Fitbit, based in San Francisco, and Dublin, Ireland-based Medtronic, a medical device company, have teamed up to integrate health and activity tracking for patients living with diabetes and their physicians and care teams.

UC San Diego Health Offering EHR, iPad Access to Patients

Patients at the recently-opened Jacobs Medical Center at UC San Diego Health can be in more command with their own experience by assessing their own medical information, controlling room features and more.

Texas Medical Center, Australia Form BioBridge to Develop Health Innovation

Houston-based Texas Medical Center (TMC) and the Melbourne-based Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA) are collaborating on a health startup exchange program.

Teladoc Hits 101K Patient Visits in November

Telehealth vendor Teladoc announced this week that it totaled 101,600 e-health patient visits in November, setting a company record.

Research of mHealth Apps Reveals Significant Gaps in Quality

An evaluation of 137 patient-facing mobile health apps revealed that few apps address the needs of the patients who could benefit the most, according to research in December’s issue of Health Affairs.