Congressional Budget Office Releases Report on Single-Payer Health Care System

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) last week released a 30-page study exploring the pros and cons of a national single-payer health care system, The New York Times reports. An anomaly amongst other CBO reports, this analysis did not offer any cost estimates for the transition, omitting any speculation of a price tag other than the nebulous declaration that “government spending on health care would increase substantially.” Congressional Democrats have introduced several bills in an effort to lay the groundwork for such a plan and most Democratic presidential candidates also support a single-payer system. The CBO said that it may provide firm estimates for a proposal if current legislation sees progress in various committees.

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CBO Offers Tips for Minimizing Impact of Spending Cuts on Medicare, Other Programs

A Congressional Budget Office report lists several proposals on how to reduce the federal deficit, including ways to minimize the impact on Medicare and Medicaid, Becker’s reports. One recommendation proposes an alternative to increasing the age eligibility from 65 to 67, instead slowing the process, increasing the age of eligibility by two months a year until it reaches 67 or increasing the age of eligibility in three-month increments. The report also proposes scaling back on bad debt payments by Medicare by reducing the percentage of allowable bad debt. 

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Nursing Home Chain Settles in Columbia Medicare Fraud Case

Two former occupational therapists at a Columbia nursing home were whistleblowers in a Medicare fraud case that was settled this month for $30 million, The Columbia Daily Herald reports. Kristi Emerson and LeeAnn Holt tipped-off the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, providing documentation that showed the company pressured employees to perform unneeded therapy and manipulated therapist schedules to maximize profit. You can view the complaint here.

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