Medicare and Medicaid, the federal government's health insurance programs for the elderly and poor, play a big role in the health care reform proposals being considered on Capitol Hill. President Obama and Democrats in Congress hope to cut Medicare spending by nearly a half-trillion dollars over the next decade, and reform plans call for a big expansion of Medicaid during the same period. Read More
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Even harder will be merging House, Senate versions
Now that a Senate panel has won passage of a moderate health care reform bill, the real challenge lies with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who must weave it together with much more liberal legislation in a way that can win the support of at least 60 lawmakers.
Given the divergent components of each bill, it promises to be a daunting if not impossible task. Read More
WHAT: Lured by the easy money and shorter prison sentences, Mafia figures and other criminals are increasingly moving into Medicare fraud and spilling blood over what was once a white-collar crime. Around the nation, federal investigators have been threatened, an informant’s body was found riddled with bullets and a woman was discovered murdered in a pharmacy. Read More
A federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request has been filed by a citizens activist group seeking the rest of the story behind the recent gag order issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services against health insurance companies to prevent them from providing customers with information about Obamacare. Read More
In my story on congressional leaders resisting a formal rule requiring bills to be posted online for 72 hours, I left out a pledge by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to implement a three day waiting period before the House votes on health care reform legislation.
As Congress lurches closer to a decision on an enormous overhaul of the American health care system, pressure is mounting on legislative leaders to make the final bill available online for citizens to read before a vote.
Lawmakers were given just hours to examine the $789 billion stimulus plan, sweeping climate-change legislation and a $700 billion bailout package before final votes. Read More
If you watch C-SPAN for awhile, you’re sure to hear a politician or pundit criticizing some idea by comparing it to “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.” It’s a vivid illustration of the short-sightedness and futility of so much of what Washington, D.C., does superficially to improve failed programs. Read More
“Obamacare is to Medicare what ACORN is to [Child] Protective Services.” Read More