Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday Tidbits

Modern Healthcare reports that the Senate Finance Committee is making progress on its bill. "Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said that a bipartisan team of negotiators have locked down 'two major issues' that will be part of the broad framework for healthcare reform, but declined to provide details. 'We're making significant headway,' Baucus told reporters." America's Health Insurance Plans, the trade association, issued a press release supporting a bipartisan approach.

The Wall Street Journal reports that "
Democrats from the House Energy and Commerce Committee emerged from a meeting Tuesday with President Barack Obama saying no decisions had been made on new ways to cut the price tag of health-care legislation." Reuters reports that "the House Ways and Means Committee, was to meet on Wednesday where it was expected to discuss taxes and other roadblocks to its version of the bill. Its plan to add a tax on the wealthy, to raise about $544 billion over 10 years, has come under fire."

The American Medical Association has endorsed the House reform bill (H.R. 3200). The Lewin Group, working for the Heritage Foundation, projects that in 2015 the House reform bill will start to hit doctors where it hurts the pocketbook due to the expected growth of the public plan option. Not surprisingly, seventeen state medical societies, including the Texas Medical Association, have not jumped on the HR 3200 bandwagon. According to the Fort Worth Star Telegram, these groups also are concerned that the House bill does not attempt to control medical malpractice liability and the related costs of defensive medicine.

The Federal Times provided links to an interesting exchange of correspondence between the ranking minority member and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee concerning the impact of H.R. 3200 on the FEHB Program.

Finally, the American Medical Association released its 2009 report card on major health plan claims processing. Happy Heal the Claims Process Week!

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