Baucus: Bipartisan Group Of Finance Committee Members Reach MedPAC Agreement

Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., said that a bipartisan group of six Finance Committee senators have "coalesced" around language "that would give new weight to the recommendations of an entity currently known as the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, or MedPAC,"  Dow Jones reports. A strengthened MedPAC, which Baucus called the "Medicare Preservation Commission," would have the "power to recommend changes to Medicare payment rates. The changes would automatically be enacted if Congress didn't veto them or come up with a substitute package that cut costs by the same amount" (Yoest, 8/5).

CongressDaily: "The negotiators are attempting to balance the division of decision-making influence between Congress and the panel to hit a savings target that Baucus did not disclose. Baucus added that lawmakers may need to substitute any rejected cuts with reductions of equal value" (Edney, 8/5).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.