Dems, GOP Jockey For Position On Health Law, Budget Legislation
In advance of the upcoming general election, Democrats and Republicans are trading barbs on the reasons -- each accusing each other of playing politics -- for delaying economic legislation and how the health care law has affected jobs in America.
The Wall Street Journal: Republicans See Advantages In Go-Slow Approach On Bills
Democrats accuse GOP leaders of deliberately dragging their feet on legislation that might help the economy, as it might also boost President Barack Obama's re-election prospects. Republican leaders deny that. They blame Democrats for blocking GOP efforts to extend tax cuts and avert scheduled military spending cuts. Indeed, senior Democrats have political reasons of their own to avoid compromise on major budget issues before the election: They don't want to undercut their ability to make a campaign issue of Republicans' support for curbing the growth of Medicare and other popular entitlement programs (Hook, 6/13).
The New York Times' Caucus Blog: Budget Office Director Says Health Law Hasn't Hit Economy
As a Supreme Court ruling on the health care law nears, theories abound as to what the economic effects of the court's decision will be. On Wednesday, Douglas W. Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, wasn't eager to enter that fray -- but he disputed the view pushed mostly by Republicans that the health care law has, to this point, hurt employment (Berg, 6/13).
Politico Pro: Markup To Feature GOP Hit On ACA Marketing
Senate Republicans want to force a vote Thursday on an amendment that would require HHS to fully disclose how much it has spent on advertising and public relations services used to help sell the Affordable Care Act. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) will offer the amendment when the full Appropriations Committee begins its markup of the $158 billion Labor-HHS spending package. The Labor-HHS subcommittee approved the bill Tuesday (DoBias, 6/14).
In the meantime, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation -- a key part of the health law -- is scrutinized --
CQ HealthBeat: Boustany Wants Answers On Innovation Center Grant Process
Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. is pushing for more congressional oversight of grants for projects to improve health care delivery as part of the 2010 health care overhaul law. Boustany, R-La., said a lack of accountability and transparency in the grant-awarding process could result in a waste of taxpayers’ money. Last month, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) awarded nearly $123 million in grants to 26 different organizations for projects to improve care, lower costs and help the health care workforce (Ethridge, 6/13).
California Healthline: CMMI: 'Pork Project' Or Manhattan Project?
But maybe we can innovate ourselves out of trouble -- and into cheaper health care. At least, that's the working theory behind the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. The 15-month-old program has drawn passionate support as a necessary reform, and some say it's one of the best parts of the Affordable Care Act. … First, here's why the CMMI has won fans from ex-Medicare chiefs to academic researchers: It's designed as a market-driven hothouse, intended to reform government health care from within. The program's administrators are empowered with plucking ideas from both the public and private sector, piloting them as necessary and near-instantly implementing them in the full Medicare program, assuming they meet basic cost and quality thresholds (Diamond, 6/13).