POL­ICY:

Re­pub­li­can goals re­flected in House bill

Modern Healthcare - - NEWS - Jes­sica Zig­mond

GOP’S lat­est bud­get has long-term sig­nif­i­cance for providers

The House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives this week will vote on a bud­get res­o­lu­tion that ex­perts say is more im­por­tant to providers for what it por­tends af­ter this year’s elec­tion cy­cle than for any changes in the short term.

Re­leased March 20, the House Bud­get Com­mit­tee’s fis­cal 2013 bud­get blue­print at­tempts to put the coun­try on a path to fis­cal sta­bil­ity and sus­tain­abil­ity in part through sweep­ing re­forms to the tax code and en­ti­tle­ment pro­grams, its back­ers con­tend. Although the plan has no hopes of mov­ing in the Se­nate, it’s note­wor­thy for map­ping out the goals of House Repub­li­cans in a year when vot­ers are con­sid­er­ing the pol­icy pri­or­i­ties of both po­lit­i­cal par­ties.

“Much like the pres­i­dent’s bud­get, it’s a po­lit­i­cal state­ment of in­ten­tion in broad terms,” said Joe An­tos, a health pol­icy scholar at the Amer­i­can En­ter­prise In­sti­tute, a con­ser­va­tive Washington-based think tank. “And much like the pres­i­dent’s bud­get, at least when it comes to en­ti­tle­ment pro­grams, it has some in­flu­ence on what Congress does,” he added. “But it does not de­ter­mine what Congress does.”

Sim­i­lar to the com­mit­tee’s plan a year ago, this year’s bud­get pro­poses a pre­mium-sup­port model for Medi­care that would pro­vide ben­e­fi­cia­ries with a pay­ment and a list of cov­er­age op­tions in­clud­ing both pri­vate plans and tra­di­tional fee-for-ser­vice Medi­care. Med­i­caid, mean­while, would be trans­formed into a pro­gram that would con­vert the fed­eral

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The lat­est bud­get plan from Ryan, above, in­cludes tra­di­tional fee-for-ser­vice Medi­care along­side pri­vate plans.

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