Via Wonkblog, Sarah Kliff reports on an initiative by nine medical specialty groups to identify procedures that they find to be either unnecessary or unlikely to improve patient outcomes. The initiative, called "Choosing Wisely" tasked these nine groups to come up with five procedures each, for a total of 45 (the list is here).
Bloom and Gloom – Washington’s famous Cherry Blossoms bloomed just ahead of the festival in their honor, and most promptly disappeared due to stormy weather in DC. Now, we can look forward to five weeks of celebrations with the namesakes mostly absent. A similar situation is playing out with the federal budget. There have been weeks of hearings, which will culminate this week as the House votes on the FY 2013 budget resolution. Yet, it is clear that there will be no budget coming out of Congress, again.
On this day two years ago, President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the first of two pieces of legislation that would make up the full health care law. The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act would follow a week later, making some changes to PPACA while also containing changes related to student loans.
With Congressman Paul Ryan's (R-WI) new budget comes an interesting piece of good news: an apparent agreement between House Republicans and President Obama on the need to hold Medicare cost growth to GDP plus 0.5 percent per beneficiary in the long-term.
CBO's most recent estimate of the insurance coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act has sparked a debate about how CBO's estimate of ACA has changed over time.
Mad, Mad World – There’s enough madness in DC to go around. Lawmakers from opposite parties seem perpetually angry at each other, yet they are moving in lockstep towards what Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke recently called a “fiscal cliff” at the end of the year. And expecting Congress to adopt a budget has become akin to picking a 16th seed to win. Unlike the big tourney, there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight to this madness. Think you can do better?
In its March baseline, CBO made a number of changes in its projections for health care spending. Given the significance of health spending to the budget in both the near-term and long-term, it's useful to take a look at what has changed.
Overall, CBO has increased its estimate of health care spending by $25 billion through 2022 compared to the January projections, with some programs increasing costs and others projected to spend less.
For those of you who have had trouble keeping track of the many premium support proposals that have come out over the past year, the Kaiser Family Foundation has a handy comparison chart of the most prominent ones.