Senators Launch Billion-Dollar Health Scam Investigation
Also in the news from Capitol Hill, the Senate appears poised to fix the Medicaid glitch that allowed middle-income couples to qualify for Medicaid, and a bill to repeal the health law runs afoul of some conservatives.
The Fiscal Times: Senate Investigates Billion Dollar Health Care Scam
Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and ranking member Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) on Tuesday demanded the nation's two largest laboratory testing companies and three largest insurers turn over records from contracts that may have bilked Medicare and Medicaid out of billions of dollars in alleged overpayments. ... The whistleblower suits alleged the schemes relied on sweetheart deals in which managed-care companies required in-network physicians to send their patients' lab tests to a single testing company (Goozner, 11/8).
Politico Pro: Medicaid Glitch Fix Seems On Track In Senate
A bill to fix a "glitch" in the health care reform law that would have allowed middle-income couples to qualify for Medicaid seems destined for passage in the Senate this week. …The opposition from House Democrats, despite White House support for the bill, was mostly split into two camps. Some contended that the Medicaid calculation wasn't a glitch at all. Others had no problem ditching the glitch but wanted to steer the projected $13 billion savings to other health programs. The Senate bill uses the savings from the Medicaid fix to pay for the repeal of a wildly unpopular rule that requires the federal government to withhold 3 percent of its payments to contractors. The House passed two separate bills on the same day — Medicaid and withholding — with the idea that the Medicaid money would pay for the withholding bill, once it all makes it through the Senate (Millman, 11/8).
The Hill: Anti-Tax Advocates, Deficit Busters Collide Over Repeal Of Health Law Subsidies
A Republican bid to cast the repeal of the health law's insurance subsidies as a "common-sense" way to reduce the deficit risks running afoul of conservative tax foes. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) last month introduced legislation to repeal the law's insurance tax credits and its Medicaid expansion, saying it would reduce the deficit by $1.3 trillion over 10 years. The bill would allow Republicans to dismantle the health care reform law without inflating the deficit, but anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist is raising concerns that eliminating the insurance subsidies could violate his Americans for Tax Reform "Taxpayer Protection Pledge" (Pecquet, 11/8).