Health Care

CBO Finds House VA Bill Could Cost More, Does Cost Less Than Senate Bill

The Congressional Budget Office today released a preliminary analysis of several sections of the House VA reform bill. Like the Senate bill that we analyzed last week, the legislation would increase VA health spending by allowing the VA to contract with private health providers. In fact, if appropriators fully funded the House legislation, it could cost more than the Senate bill.

Paying for A Fix to the VA Health System

Now that both chambers of Congress have passed bills aimed at improving the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health system, they will need reconcile their differences, likely via conference committee.

Senate Vets Bill Could Create New $500 Billion Entitlement Program

The Senate voted 93-3 yesterday on new legislation to expand veterans' benefits by allowing beneficiaries to seek out private (non-VA) health care paid for by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Determining Medicare's Underlying Growth

Despite the noted acceleration in broader health care spending this year (likely due in large part to coverage expansions), Medicare continues to grow at an astoundingly slow pace.

Only 13% of Uninsured Expected to Pay Individual Mandate Penalty

The individual mandate penalty is arguably the most controversial piece of the Affordable Care Act. It was the centerpiece of the legal challenge to the ACA, a challenge that made it to the Supreme Court, and it has been the subject of frequent debate in recent years. Yet, CBO's latest analysis of the mandate shows that the number of Americans actually expected to pay the penalty is small, even compared to the number of people remaining uninsured after the ACA's implementation.

Two New Ideas to Save Money on Drugs in Health Affairs

The House Affordable Medicines Caucus recently launched by Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Keith Rothfus (R-PA) already has plenty of ideas to reform our nation's drug policies and produce cost savings for both the federal government and beneficiaries. The latest edition of Health Affairs (subscription required), though, adds a couple more ideas to encourage more efficient use of prescription drugs.

Senator Sanders Proposes Emergency VA Authorization

In response to the recent VA scandal and hospital backlogs, Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has proposed legislation that would address the situation and authorize additional funding for the Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA). Congressional Quarterly's (subscription required) Alan Ota explains:

House Affordable Medicines Caucus Has Options

Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Keith Rothfus (R-PA) have officially re-launched a bipartisan caucus in the House looking to promote the use of high-quality, low-cost drugs.

Rubio Proposes Retirement Program Reforms

As the Senate works this week to increase the debt, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) outlined a series of reforms to Social Security, Medicare, and retirement accounts in a speech at the National Press Club on Tuesday.

Temporary Effects Driving Some of Medicare's Slow Growth in 2014

Medicare spending has grown remarkably slowly so far this year, according to the often-overlooked Monthly Budget Reviews from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Through April (seven months into Fiscal Year 2014), net Medicare spending has increased by $2 billion, or just 0.7 percent, from the same seven months last year. 

Syndicate content