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).