Medicare Payment Formula ‘Must Be Fixed,’ Democratic Weekly Radio Address Says
Hospitals and other providers in many states do not receive "adequate" Medicare reimbursements, Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa) said Saturday in the Democrats' weekly radio address, the AP/Nando Times reports. "Despite the fact that everyone pays the same Medicare taxes, the outdated Medicare formulas do not equally reimburse for seniors' health care," Boswell said, adding, "It must be fixed." Iowa, which ranks last in the nation in Medicare reimbursements, receives about $3,053 per beneficiary; Louisiana, which ranks first, receives $7,336 per beneficiary, Boswell said. According to Boswell, Iowa and 34 other states lose "a billion dollars for every year that we get reimbursed at less than the national average," a trend that places providers nationwide "at risk of being unable to provide the most up-to-date treatment and the most effective care." Boswell has introduced legislation that would move all states' Medicare reimbursement rates "closer to the national average." He called on Congress and President Bush to support the bill and to "end Medicare discrimination." He said that the Bush administration considers Iowa a "politically important state" and that he hopes to "leverage that into support for Medicare equity" (AP/Nando Times, 8/17).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.