Wednesday, November 12, 2008

In the News: Baucus Outlines Health Care Plan

Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus outlined a health care agenda Wednesday that would expand coverage to all Americans, emphasize increased quality and lower costs, trim waste in federal health programs and rebalance their financing.

Baucus, D-Mont., whose panel has partial jurisdiction over health care issues, is essentially putting down a marker for working with the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama, who also wants to overhaul the health care system.

Baucus would make Medicare available to anybody 55 or over, compared to 65 currently. He would set up a “health insurance exchange” that would create a marketplace for the uninsured to buy into plans. He also would expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to all children who live in households with income below 250 percent of the federal poverty level. Those with existing coverage would be able to maintain it as is...

Baucus’s plan also would take steps to refocus the health care system on primary care. The proposal also would focus on eliminating fraud, waste and abuse in public health care programs and “address overpayments” to private insurers in the Medicare Advantage program...

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said Baucus’ paper was an important step toward affordable health care for all Americans.

This is an excerpt from a November 12 article in Congressional Quarterly by Drew Armstrong. Find the full article here.

No comments: