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

NFL Strikes Deal to Give Players Control of Wearable Data

The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) and human performance company Whoop are connecting on a deal that will give athletes the ability to control and even sell their own health data from a wearable device.

Media Report: Anthem Loses Appeal to Overturn Blocked Merger with Cigna

According to a report from Bloomberg posted today, Anthem Inc. lost its bid to overturn a court ruling that blocked its planned merger with Cigna Corp.

ONC Releases Proposed Interoperability Standards Measurement Framework

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) is soliciting feedback about a proposed industry-wide measurement framework, which it released this week, to assess the implementation and use of healthcare interoperability standards.

VETS Act Introduced to Expand Veterans’ Access to Telehealth Services

U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI), both members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, reintroduced this week the Veterans E-Health and Telemedicine Support Act of 2017 (VETS Act), bipartisan legislation that aims to expand telehealth services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Mayo Clinic Makes Health Content Available via Epic’s Patient Apps

Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic is now offering its health information on demand via Epic patient-facing apps such as MyChart and MyChart Bedside.

Report: Cyber Attackers Using Simple Tactics, Tools to Target Healthcare, Other Industries

The number of reported breach incidents in healthcare grew by 22 percent in 2016 from 269 breach incidents in 2015 to 328 last year, according to Symantec’s 2017 Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR).