GOP Attacks Measure To Address Medicare Rate Disparities in California
According to the Congressional Budget Office, California's Medicare payment change would cost $400 million over 10 years.
Supporters of the provision say some California counties designated as "rural" under current Medicare payment formulas are becoming increasingly urban, meaning that physicians in such counties receive Medicare reimbursements that are significantly lower than payments in neighboring counties.
Supporters say the geographic rate differences have made some health care providers reluctant to accept Medicare beneficiaries as patients.
Senate Republicans have called the provision an earmark that would unfairly provide special treatment to one state.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has introduced an amendment that would strip the California payment fix from the extenders bill.
Support for Payment Change
The California payment fix was included in the House-passed version of the extenders bill at the request of Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.). The provision received support from six Republican House members.Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) also backs the payment change (Alarkon, The Hill, 6/10). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.