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Jan 30, 2013

US expects big Medicare savings from competitive bid program

WASHINGTON, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Medicare and its
beneficiaries in 100 metropolitan areas will pay less for
durable equipment beginning July 1.

The new prices, set by competitive bidding, are expected to
save 45 percent on average, on products including walkers,
wheelchairs, oxygen equipment, hospital beds and prosthetics.
Diabetic testing supplies will be available at savings of 72
percent through a separate national mail-order program.

Jan 24, 2013

Public wants deficit reduction but not programs cuts: polling data

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Most Americans want President Barack Obama and Congress to reduce the federal deficit without cutting Medicare, Social Security and education, according to polling data released Thursday.

A joint survey by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Harvard School of Public Health and the Kaiser Family Foundation also showed majorities support President Barack Obama’s plan to expand Medicaid and provide subsidized private health insurance to working families through new online state exchanges.

Jan 24, 2013

US mental health experts urge focus on early treatment

WASHINGTON, Jan 24 (Reuters) – The U.S. mental health system
has huge gaps that prevent millions of people with psychological
problems, including children and teens, from receiving effective
treatment that could prevent tragic consequences, experts told
U.S. lawmakers on Thursday.

Just over a month after the shooting rampage in Newtown,
Connecticut, experts told a Senate hearing that three-quarters
of mental illnesses emerge by age 24, but fewer than one in five
youths with diagnosable problems receive treatment that could
avoid later problems including violence and suicide.

Jan 24, 2013

U.S. mental health experts urge focus on childhood screening

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. mental health system has huge gaps that prevent many children with psychological problems from receiving effective treatment that could prevent tragic consequences later in life, experts told U.S. lawmakers on Thursday.

Just over a month after the shooting rampage in Newtown, Connecticut, mental health experts said psychological disorders usually emerge before people enter high school but that only one-quarter of children with problems see trained professionals and often the care is not enough.

Jan 23, 2013

Kaiser study finds Medicaid coverage gaps in U.S. states

WASHINGTON, Jan 23 (Reuters) – U.S. adults who qualify for
Medicaid often must have incomes well below the federal poverty
line, while adults who have no dependent children are allowed to
receive benefits in only nine of the 50 states, according to a
survey released on Wednesday.

The survey by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation
provides a snapshot of widespread coverage gaps in national
healthcare program for the poor, less than a year before
Medicaid is scheduled to undergo a dramatic expansion under
President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law.

Jan 16, 2013

US governors in 22 states back expanded Medicaid plan

WASHINGTON, Jan 16 (Reuters) – At least 22 U.S. governors,
including four Republicans, support an expansion of Medicaid
under President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law, while
others are expected to decide in the coming weeks, experts said
on Wednesday.

An analysis published by the New England Journal of Medicine
said the headcount, which includes 13 Republican governors who
staunchly oppose Medicaid expansion, portends an uneven start
for “Obamacare” when its most sweeping reform provisions begin
on Jan. 1, 2014.

Jan 16, 2013

U.S. business executives call for raising retirement age to 70

WASHINGTON, Jan 16 (Reuters) – A business group of top
executives on Wednesday proposed reforms to Social Security and
Medicare that would raise the enrollment age for both programs
to 70 but not raise Social Security taxes paid by upper-income
Americans.

The Business Roundtable, which represents more than 200
chief executives from some of the largest U.S. corporations,
also urged Congress to add a “premium support” mechanism to
Medicare, peg Social Security cost-of-living adjustments to a
lower inflation gauge and raise Medicare charges for wealthier
beneficiaries.

Jan 15, 2013

AARP urges entitlement reform on broad issues, not deficit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – AARP, the powerful lobbying group for older Americans, urged political leaders on Tuesday to pursue so-called entitlement reform as part of a wide-ranging discussion about healthcare costs and retirement security rather than as a narrower deal on deficit reduction.

Laying out their agenda in the run-up to an intensive new fiscal debate on Capitol Hill, AARP executives portrayed the leading U.S. social spending programs – Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – as necessary supports for what the group described as a declining middle class.

Jan 10, 2013

Chamber of Commerce makes budget cuts top goal for 2013

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Chamber of Commerce on Thursday declared federal deficit reduction its top goal for 2013 and questioned whether Washington politicians were brave enough to take the steps necessary to rein in a fast-growing national debt.

“Do we have leaders with the courage to put the country first – ahead of their own careers, politics, ideologies and egos?” asked Thomas Donohue, president of the country’s largest business group.

Jan 10, 2013

U.S. could save $2 trillion on health costs – study

WASHINGTON, Jan 10 (Reuters) – The United States could save
$2 trillion in healthcare spending over the next decade, if the
U.S. government used its influence in the public and private
sectors to nudge soaring costs into line with economic growth, a
study released on Thursday said.

Compiled by the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund, the study
recommends holding the $2.8 trillion U.S. healthcare system to
an annual spending target by having Medicare, Medicaid, other
government programs and private insurers encourage providers to
accelerate adoption of more cost-effective care.

    • About David

      "David Morgan has covered news from Wall Street and Fleet Street to the White House, the Pentagon and Congress, including politics, macroeconomics, military affairs, corporate finance, U.S. intelligence, national security and the international markets. He has also reported from Atlanta on the rise of American conservatism, civil rights, homegrown terrorism and the Olympics, and helped chronicle the Sept. 11 attacks and their aftermath from Philadelphia, New York and Washington."
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