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April 23, 2012
In This Issue
Guess Which Major Public Health Program is Still Broke?
S. 2068 is Now S. 2288
The Money Has to Come From Somewhere
Who Needs a Budget Anyway?
This Week in Washington
What We’re Reading
Calendar
May 4: Gordon Award nomination deadline
May 10: Early bird registration cutoff for Annual Convention
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Guess Which Major Public Health Program is Still Broke?

The Medicare trustees issued their annual report this year about the state of the program's solvency and the good news is that just like last last year, Medicare isn't predicted to run out of funds completely until 2024. That doesn't mean that the program is doing particularly well now, though, as its operating deficit last year was $27.7 billion.  Read More

S. 2068 is Now S. 2288

On April 17, Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), along with cosponsors Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Ben Nelson (D-NE) re-filed our Senate MLR bill, the Access to Independent Health Insurance Advisors Act of 2012. The bill number changed from S. 2068 and is now S. 2288. Technical oncerns regarding the definition of remuneration were raised by members of our coalition group, and rather than make these changes through the legislative process with amendments, a new bill was drafted to accommodate the language changes with the full support of the coalition. The new bill is currently in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) committee. Read More

The Money Has to Come From Somewhere

When the House of Representatives passed their budget agreement last month, they also required six of their committees to find $261 billion in federal budgetary savings over the next 10 years. These cuts are necessary to prevent automatic "sequestration" cuts from taking effect next year, as was agreed to due to the failure of the supercommittee to make bipartisan budget cuts last year. Last week, two of these committees marked up legislation to create substantial savings due to healthcare law changes, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee is poised to take similar action this coming week.  Read More

Who Needs a Budget Anyway?

Democratic Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota unveiled a budget proposal to the Senate Budget Committee early last week. The plan is modeled heavily off of the “Simpson Bowles” deficit reduction proposal from 2010 that would have cut the deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years, but initially failed to gain any traction in either chamber. Conrad’s budget was offered without amendments and votes have been postponed, likely until after the November elections. This was the first budget proposal submitted by Democrats since April 2009. Read More

This Week in Washington

Members of the House and Senate will be working a full week this week, and a number of committees will be addressing healthcare issues. Here are some of the hearings that we will be keeping a close eye on. Read More

What We’re Reading

Quick: who is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court? Fifty-three percent of Americans can't tell you, and other news of the week. Read More

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