More Doctors Accepting New Medicare Patients

It’s getting easier – not more difficult – to find doctors who take Medicare, according to a new study by the Department of Health and Human Services. Doctors have long complained about Medicare’s payment caps and the instability of a reimbursement system that forces cuts each year unless Congress intervenes to prevent them. Nonetheless, the HHS study says that the number of physicians accepting new Medicare patients is actually higher than the number taking new private insurance patients, according to …

A New Voice for Homeowners?

Washington hears from interest groups that represent everything from medical specialties to cattlemen to professional wrestlers. Now there’s an organization for one of the largest constituencies in the country: homeowners. The current homeownership rate in the United States is 65 percent (down from a high of more than 69 percent in 2004), according to the U.S. Census Bureau. America’s Homeowner Alliance (AHA) is the brainchild of Phil Bracken, a former executive of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and now the chief …

Obama’s Charm Offensive: Time-Tested Strategy

Maybe the most surprising thing about President Obama’s wining and dining of GOP lawmakers is the fact that it’s surprising. Socializing that crossed party boundaries once was the lubricant that greased political compromise in Washington. In recent years, though, lawmakers have been spending much more time back in their home districts, which means they have less time to get to know their colleagues in Washington. And the polarization of politics has led to less two-party partying. Obama drew lots of …

Young People Say They’ll Do Better Than Their Parents

A generation of pessimists has spawned an enthusiastically upbeat generation of kids. A newly released Gallup Poll shows that only 5 percent of the children interviewed thought it was unlikely they would not have a better life than their parents. Adults surveyed last month for the USA/Today Gallup poll were split evenly on their hopes for the future of their children. A full 43 percent of the children polled, grades 5 through 12, thought it was very likely they would do …