Interests Line Up To Guide ‘Super Committee’ Decisions
The American Medical Association is among the groups taking a message to Congress - but it goes beyond trying to avoid the 2 percent cut that would be triggered if the deficit reduction panel doesn't meet its savings target. The AMA hopes to link fixing the scheduled Medicare physician payment cut to what it terms "any serious proposal" to address the nation's fiscal challenges.
NPR: Super Committee At Risk With Campaign Donors
The 12 lawmakers on the new deficit-cutting super committee have their hands full. They're under orders to bring Congress a plan for cutting the deficit by more than a trillion dollars, and to do it before Thanksgiving. At the same time, they're also raising funds for their next campaigns, and that could be a problem if the super committee is under pressure to bite the hand that feeds them money. In two weeks, Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) has a fundraising reception sponsored by the political action committee, or PAC, for investment companies. They'll be interested in tax policy, loopholes and a host of other things. And early next month, Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, has a "food, fun & wine" event. One sponsor of the event is the PAC of the Pfizer drug company, likely to be concerned about Medicare and Medicaid (Overby, 8/17).
The Hill: US Chamber Urges Super Committee To Go For Grand Deficit Deal
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday urged members of the super committee to strike a grand bargain on reducing the deficit. Despite pessimism in Washington that the panel will be unable to agree on even a bare minimum of cuts by the Nov. 23 deadline, the Chamber urged the group to overhaul the tax code while undertaking a fundamental reform of entitlements (Wasson, 8/16).
CQ HealthBeat: AMA Chief To Congress: Deal With The Doc Fix
While the joint committee on deficit reduction is busy finding a way to avoid a "trigger" that would cut 2 percent from doctors' Medicare payments, Peter Carmel, the American Medical Association's new president, wants Congress to deal with a more pressing problem for physicians: fixing the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula, more commonly known as the doc fix. "Any serious proposal to confront our nation's fiscal challenges must address the massive shortfall in funding for Medicare payments for physician services," Carmel writes in a blog post Tuesday (Bunis, 8/16).