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Beginning in January 2019, Anthem Medicare Advantage members will be able to use their insurance for over-the-counter drugs, first-aid and other such supplies.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar criticized the plan only a day after CMS Administrator Seema Verma said that it would become “Medicare For None” if the system were enacted. “Medicare is running out of other people’s money, and those other people happen to be our children,” Azar said. The secretary also spoke about plans for overhauling the Medicare billing structure.
CMS Administrator Seema Verma said a “Medicare-For-All” system would divert attention away from seniors, and warned that people would be giving up complete control of their care to the government. Verma gave the speech in California, where the issue is a hot-button topic in the gubernatorial election.
CMS Administrator Seema Verma says the goal is to cut down on paperwork and free up physicians’ time. But critics say the proposal would underpay doctors who care for those with the greatest medical needs, and possibly discourage them from taking on Medicare patients.
The hospitals that brought the suit said Medicare had been using the flawed data since 1983. The federal government tried to bar their claims, saying hospitals should not be able to challenge factual determinations made many years ago. “Saving money is a laudable goal,” Judge Brett Kavanaugh said, “but not one that may be pursued by using phony facts to shift costs onto the backs of hospitals.”
While its not clear the measure would actually get to the floor before the midterm elections, the House Budget Committee’s blueprint shows where Republicans’ priorities lie in the coming years. The budget plan would remake Medicare by giving seniors the option of enrolling in private plans that compete with the traditional program.
The Medicare trust fund, which covers hospitalizations, will be depleted in 2026, the Trump administration reports. An aging population is also putting strain on the reserves.
Politifact takes a look at the issue and what the current single-payer bill would entail for California.
From gutting safety net programs to funding the opioid epidemic battle, President Donald Trump’s budget includes a host of health issues. The proposed cuts released Monday are unlikely to come to pass, as Congress controls the purse strings, but the plan is a good blueprint of the administration’s priorities.
In the early hours of Friday morning the House passed a spending deal to very quickly reverse a government shutdown that was triggered at midnight. The bill includes many of the Democrats’ top health care priorities, but they had to compromise in some places as well.