Dec 09 2009
This morning, the Washington Post wrote an editorial praising the efforts by Senator Warner and 10 other Freshman Senators to amend the health care bill with measures that will control costs.
Calling it the "best news so far," the editorial says the amendments "push in the direction of faster transformation in the way health care is delivered."
For example, the underlying bill would have Medicare pay some providers based on the quality of their performance; the Warner package would expand that to include hospices, ambulatory-care centers, psychiatric hospitals and others. The underlying bill calls for pilot projects to create so-called accountable-care organizations, which more closely monitor the health of beneficiaries; the Warner package would push for more such projects sooner and allow for more flexibility in deciding how to structure them.
The underlying bill would create pilot programs for "bundling" payments to providers for treating certain illnesses; the Warner package would expand the number of conditions covered. The underlying bill would create an Independent Medicare Advisory Board to make cost-cutting recommendations, subject to fast-track congressional approval; the Warner package would expand the commission's mandate to include recommendations for the private sector as well, although its recommendations would not be binding. These are all steps in the right direction.
For more information on the amendment package, click here.