Obama backs expanded powers for MedPAC

Do you think it's a good idea for the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission to go from an advice-only body to one that has significant power over reimbursement? President Obama does, and he's thrown his support behind a measure that would give MedPAC the authority to actually make payment policy.

Under a provision of one health reform bill, any recommendations MedPAC makes would automatically go into effect, unless a majority of federal legislators votes against them. Right now, while MedPAC recommendations are taken seriously, they aren't binding unless Congress votes them into place with legislation.

In a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee chair Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Obama also expressed support for other reform proposals. These include health insurance exchanges, which would make a pool of competing health plans available to all Americans without regard for pre-existing conditions, and rules mandating that all citizens buy health insurance.

To learn more about the action around MedPAC:
- read this Modern Healthcare article (reg. req.)

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