Raising Women’s Voices

Reform Proposals

Posted in Affordability, DC Reform, Health Reform Policy Proposals by raisingwomensvoices on February 26, 2009

President Obama’s fiscal 2010 budget proposal includes a 10-year $630 billion reserve fund for healthcare reform. This will be paid for half by raising taxes on individuals earning more than $250,000 a year, and half by Medicare and Medicaid payment reductions and policy changes. The $630 billion dollars is seen as a “down payment” as more money will be needed in the future to keep the reforms efficient.

healthcare-reform

The Medicare payment reductions include cuts to Medicare Advantage plans via incorporation of a competitive bidding program, reducing hospital patient readmission rates, comibing payments for some post-acute care services, and, vauge as it is, reducing “fraud and abuse”.

The budget plan, to be released today and expanded in April, will include eight health reform principles to deal with cost, coverage, and quality of healthcare. They are:

  • protecting the financial health of Americans via reform
  • ensuring health care coverage is affordable
  • ensuring coverage is available to all
  • ensuring coverage is portable
  • ensuring individuals have a choice of health plans and providers
  • investing in prevention and wellness
  • improving patient safety and quality
  • ensuring reform is undertaken in a fiscally sustainable manner

Gail R. Wilensky, a former administrator of the Medicare & Medicaid programs, says that Congress could begin incremental reforms this year, such as altering Medicare payments to focus on improved quality. Later in his term, Obama could work on the number of uninsured, as he has already signed legislation expanding access to healthcare for children by reauthorizing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

sara siegel

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