Donna's Feed
Apr 1, 2011

US Republicans challenge influential seniors group

WASHINGTON, April 1 (Reuters) – Republicans in the U.S.
House of Representatives on Friday accused the AARP of gaining
financially from President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul,
which the influential elderly advocacy group supported.

Republican members of a House Ways and Means subcommittee
grilled AARP Chief Executive Officer Barry Rand and AARP
President Lee Hammond on the non-profit organization’s health
insurance operations. Rand defended the group’s policy
positions and said money received from insurance licensing
agreements is used to pay for its social-welfare mission.

Mar 31, 2011

Medicare rules seek improved care, lower costs

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Medicare regulators on Thursday launched a program for doctors to deliver more follow-up care to patients that they predict will save the government as much as $960 million over the next three years while providing better healthcare for the elderly.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed rules under President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul setting out guidelines for doctors and hospitals who form so-called accountable care organizations to deliver Medicare services.

Mar 30, 2011

Senator moves to delay new debit fee rules

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A battle over fees banks charge merchants for debit cards intensified on Wednesday after Democratic Senator Jon Tester maneuvered for quick action on his legislation imposing a two-year delay for new government rules.

Tester’s amendment to a small business bill being debated in the Senate would put off rules proposed by the Federal Reserve, which would cap the fees at about 12 cents per transaction — a 75 percent cut.

Mar 23, 2011

What’s next for the U.S. healthcare law?

WASHINGTON, March 23 (Reuters) – One year ago, President
Barack Obama signed into law a sweeping healthcare overhaul to
fulfill a long-standing Democratic pledge to ensure healthcare
coverage for all Americans.

Passage of the law was a major legislative victory for
Obama and helped change the political landscape, but not always
in the way Democrats had hoped. Republicans strongly opposed
the law and successfully worked public skepticism about it into
sweeping election victories in November.

Mar 9, 2011

Public prefers cutting defense spending: Reuters/Ipsos poll

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A majority of Americans prefer cutting defense spending to reduce the federal deficit rather than taking money from public retirement and health programs, a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday showed.

The poll found 51 percent of Americans support reducing defense spending, and only 28 percent want to cut Medicare and Medicaid health programs for the elderly and poor. A mere 18 percent back cuts in the Social Security retirement program.

Mar 8, 2011
via Tales from the Trail

Spending cuts an arrow through the heart of cowboy poets


Mean. That’s what Democrats say about Republican efforts to cut spending. They even want to rope in the cowboy poet.

Democrats have decried a spending bill passed by House Republicans that would slash money for education, heating and food assistance for the poor, community health centers, public television and alternative energy sources.

Mar 3, 2011

House votes to rescind IRS reporting measure

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The House of Representatives voted on Thursday to rescind an unpopular business tax reporting requirement in the year-old healthcare law, but the measure could be delayed by a dispute with Senate Democrats over how to pay for it.

The House vote was 314-112, with 76 Democrats joining the majority Republicans despite concerns the method used to cover the cost of repealing the reporting requirements would weaken President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul.

Mar 2, 2011

U.S. stresses prevention in fighting Medicare fraud

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. healthcare programs are moving away from “pay and chase” and concentrating more on prevention in the battle against fraud that costs the government billions of dollars, U.S. officials told Congress on Wednesday.

Overseers of Medicare and Medicaid are concentrating on preventing “bad actors” from enrolling as service providers in the massive federal programs that provide healthcare to the elderly and poor, Peter Budetti of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told the Senate Finance Committee.

Mar 1, 2011

Expanding Medicaid will cost US states billions-study

WASHINGTON, March 1 (Reuters) – The costs to U.S. states of
the Medicaid insurance program for the poor will grow by
hundreds of billions of dollars under the healthcare law passed
last year, according to a report released by Republicans in the
Senate and House of Representatives on Tuesday.

“This law, because of Medicaid expansions, has put a strain
on state budgets,” Senator Orrin Hatch, one of the report’s
sponsors, told a meeting of hospital administrators on Tuesday.
“Medicaid expansions threaten to bankrupt the states.”

Feb 25, 2011

Republicans raise pressure on spending cuts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans in the House of Representatives on Friday called a government shutdown “unacceptable” but raised the pressure on President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats to go along with deep spending cuts this year.

The two parties are fighting a pitched battle over public spending and must agree at least to a stopgap measure next week or the government will run out of cash and nonessential services will shut down.

    • About Donna

      "Washington congressional correspondent specializing in economics, taxes and budget issues. Covered the healthcare reform legislation and President George W. Bush's push to overhaul Social Security. Also covered the savings and loan crisis and spent time covering the White House during President Bill Clinton's administration. Covered trade and Federal Reserve policy as well."
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