Congress Moves to Overhaul Medicare Doctor Payments

By Mary Agnes Carey, Kaiser Health News Staff Writer The bipartisan leadership of three Senate and House committees introduced legislation Feb. 6 to overhaul the way Medicare pays physicians. The package, which does not specify how it would be paid for, would repeal the current system, which sets Medicare physician payment rates through a 1997 formula based on economic growth and known as the “sustainable growth rate” (SGR).  Physicians would receive a 0.5 percent increase for each of the next five years …

AARP Will Work With President, Congress for Secure Future

The president’s speech tonight addressed issues AARP has been working on since long before President Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty began over 50 years ago. Social Security and Medicare have helped make a difference by protecting the middle class and keeping millions out of poverty, but many families and Americans of all ages continue to struggle. As we look toward this season of new budget proposals, we also urge the president and Congress to fight for responsible solutions to strengthen …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

 News, discoveries and fun … 1. A novelist/farmer gives “chick lit” a whole new meaning. (Learn more at CBS) (hat tip to Hilarie Grey) 2. It’s possible to score a night at the Waldorf-Astoria for $15.75. (Learn more at AARP) 3. New surgical superglue can patch a hole in a beating heart. (Learn more at NPR) 4. Some people who get migraines spell relief p-l-a-c-e-b-o. (Learn more at AARP) 5. The NBA will end merger payments to the owners of a defunct ABA team – at $800 million. (Learn …

6 Things to Watch in Congress

Members of Congress are back in Washington with an agenda full of items important to older Americans. Here’s a rundown: Debt ceiling and federal budget. Two deadlines loom here. The federal government will run out of borrowing authority if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling by Feb. 7. Although Capitol Hill lawmakers negotiated a budget deal in December that set overall spending, they must pass a bill with more specifics by Jan. 15. Each time budget deadlines hit, some lawmakers …

America’s Next Great Challenge

In today’s Washington Post, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and former Secretary Tommy Thompson made a strong case for a constructive, national dialogue on long-term care. AARP agrees wholeheartedly. Just this week, we joined with The Hill Newspaper to hold a briefing on long-term services and supports. We convened leaders from the federal and state levels to shine a bright light on the possible solutions and innovations that are happening across the nation. >> Visit AARP’s Caregiving Resource Center …

Can Congress Get a Budget Deal Done?

Congress doesn’t get much done on the budget without a deadline hanging over it, and this time it’s staring at a deadline – or at least a first deadline – of Dec. 13. That’s the date by which lawmakers on a bipartisan conference committee – led by Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, and Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), her House counterpart – are supposed to come up with a budget deal. Without a deal, the government runs out …