GOP Lawmakers Doubt Co-Op’s Ability To Promote Competition, Lower Health Costs
They outlined their concerns in a letter sent this week to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Meanwhile, Marilyn Tavenner, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services acting administrator, provided details about the innovation center's staffing and funding to Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.
CQ HealthBeat: Republican Lawmakers Question Health Law Co-Op Loans
Five Republican lawmakers want detailed information on the process Department of Health and Human Services officials have used to award hundreds of millions of dollars in loans to organizations that want to start health care cooperatives included in the health overhaul law. "Based on the HHS efforts to date, there appears to be little evidence that the CO-OP [Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans] program will promote greater competition and lower costs in most state insurance markets,"’ the lawmakers wrote in a letter this week to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (Bunis, 5/10).
Politico Pro: Tavenner Details Innovation Center Spending
CMS has provided its most detailed accounting yet of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation in response to critical inquiries from Senate Republicans. Acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner sent the 66-page report this week to Senate Finance Committee ranking Republican Orrin Hatch. The document details staffing and funding streams, payments to contractors supporting research and modeling work and inventories of CMMI projects (Feder, 5/10).
And it appears that HHS staffers are revisiting the "health exchange" brand -
Kaiser Health News: What's In A Name: Health Exchanges, Marketplaces … Or Swap Meets
If a Medicare staff recommendation is approved, health insurance exchanges may be up for a rebranding. Because, Medicare officials say, consumers understand words like 'marketplace' better (Jaffe, 5/10).