KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Though Slim On Specifics, ‘Gang Of Six’ Plan Seeks Savings From Health Plans

The plan's key health components include an overhaul of the Medicare physician payment system and a repeal of the health law's long-term care insurance program. Kaiser Health News provides the executive summary of the plan.

Politico: Gang Of Six Plan Looks To Health For Savings
The bipartisan proposal to end the debt-limit crisis that was seemingly gaining traction on Capitol Hill and at the White House Tuesday would look to cuts and reforms in health care spending to save more than $200 billion. The plan unveiled by the Senate's newly revived "Gang of Six" would pay for a complete overhaul of the flawed Medicare physician payment formula, erase a long-term-insurance program created under last year's health reform law and enact medical malpractice reform (Haberkorn and Dobias, 7/19).

CQ HealthBeat: 'Gang of Six' Plan Punts On Details To Curb Health Care Costs
The Senate's "Gang of Six" outlined a plan Tuesday that seeks to cut $116 billion reduction in health care spending over 10 years, but offered few specifics about ways to slow the growth of Medicare and Medicaid costs. A five-page summary of the proposal borrows some recommendations from the president's fiscal commission, recommending an overhaul of the formula used to set Medicare physician payment rates, repeal of a provision in the health care law that helps pay for long-term care, unspecified changes to medical malpractice liability and the creation of overall health spending targets linked to GDP. But its proposal is far less detailed, leaving to congressional committees the task of filling in many of the blanks. Mindful of history, it also sets out two fallback options if lawmakers hit the kind of impasse that has stymied countless prior efforts to slow entitlement spending (Kenen, 7/19).

The Hill: Bipartisan Senate Plan, Like IPAB, Requires Congress To Tackle Medicare Costs
A bipartisan deficit-cutting plan unveiled Tuesday would require lawmakers to keep Medicare costs from growing faster than a target rate, not unlike a provision of the health care law that Republicans have denounced as a "rationing board." The proposal by the Senate's so-called Gang of Six is part of a plan to cut the deficit by $3.7 trillion. Similarly to the health care law's Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), the proposal would require Congress and the president to take action if federal health care spending grows faster than GDP plus 1 percent per beneficiary (Pecquet, 7/19).

Kaiser Health News: Gang Of Six Deficit Plan: Executive Summary
The bipartisan group of senators' plan to reduce the deficit calls for major changes to health care programs, including Medicare, Medicaid and the CLASS act for long-term care (7/19).

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