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- Janet on What Sequestration Could Mean to Medicare Advantage Claims Payment
- Kristina on What Sequestration Could Mean to Medicare Advantage Claims Payment
- Curt Black on What Sequestration Could Mean to Medicare Advantage Claims Payment
- Margaret on What Sequestration Could Mean to Medicare Advantage Claims Payment
- Jane Wall Medicare Health Benefits Inc on Strange Bedfellows Come to Medicare Advantage’s Rescue
Tag Archives: debt ceiling
I hate to have to say it, but the “fiscal cliff” debate/debacle last month is going to feel like a speed bump compared to what’s coming here in DC on the debt ceiling next month. At the height of its dysfunction right now, the relationship between the President and the Congress points to a near-inevitable government shutdown in the next 60-90 days. Which raises the question of what happens to Medicare and Medicaid when DC closes its doors. The answer? It depends on how long the shutdown lasts, but it ain’t pretty no matter what. If it goes longer than 30 days, it’s going to hurt, bad.
Welcome to the second session of the 112th Congress, when the most unpopular group of politicians in history (13% job approval rating last week) is poised to shirk their responsibilities to govern, and turn the House and Senate into campaign stumps. In an election year characterized by the most polarized electorate in recent memory, don’t expect much of anything to get done in DC, least of all on the tough issues like reforming Medicare and Medicaid.
It appeared at the market open Monday that after much hand-wringing this weekend there is no clear path to a compromise for the Congressional Deficit Supercommittee in time for its Thanksgiving deadline. Epic FAIL. The markets responded, down 300 points as of this post. As an American, I’m pissed: now here comes again the credit rating agencies, who will reward this latest political failure with another downgrade and make credit for all Americans harder to obtain. As a healthcare executive, I’m breathing a sigh of relief, however momentary it may be. Sequestration is coming, and it’s a better scenario for Medicare and Medicaid than anything this kangaroo court might have come up with.
It’s crunch time for the Congressional “Super-Committee” on the deficit, and predictably, it ain’t going well. The Super-Committee has until Thanksgiving to come up with its proposal to cut at least $1.5 Trillion from the national debt, and the battle lines are so immovable at this point that Congressional leaders went behind closed doors this weekend to try to avert a disaster. The LA Times covered the impasse here.
Our industry needs to be watching the workings of the Congressional deficit Super-Committee for obvious reasons: Medicare is one of its biggest targets for reining in Federal spending. Hands-down the biggest issue facing Medicare Advantage is an indirect one: whether the “Supers” will address the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) methodology that determines reimbursement for physicians under traditional Medicare. Docs are facing a 29.5% cut to their payments in January 2012 unless the Congress intervenes. If they don’t and the cut takes place, Medicare Advantage rates will fall by more than 7% in 2013, and that would be a disaster. Various interest groups and some influential Members of Congress are beginning to weigh in.
The Congressional deficit “Super-Committee” formally began its work last week, and President Obama is expected to release his deficit reduction proposal today at 10am EDT. The President’s plan is expected to seek as much as $3 Trillion in savings — including, most notably, the new “Buffett Rule” establishing a new tax bracket for millionaires. The plan also includes $320 Billion in health savings over the next decade including $248 Billion in Medicare (would add 3 years to the trust fund) and $72 Billion in Medicaid cuts. The plan calls for exempting existing enrollees from some changes.
Politico had a terrific story last week on the lingering hangover from the debt crisis. New data from The Conference Board suggest that the bitter debt ceiling debate in DC not only drove the US to the edge of default and cost the nation its triple-A credit rating, but crushed American confidence like few recent events and may tip the economy back into recession. Read more