Senate Finance Leaders Push For Permanent Medicare 'Doc Fix'

Both Committee Chair Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Ranking Member Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, are pushing for an overhaul of Medicare's physician payment formula. Meanwhile, Baucus is not "ready to commit" to hold confirmation hearings for the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services who has been re-nominated.

CQ HealthBeat: Senate Finance Leaders Press Sebelius on Permanent 'Doc Fix'
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus joined with the panel's ranking member Orrin G. Hatch at a hearing Tuesday in pressing the Obama administration to come up with a permanent overhaul of the Medicare physician payment formula; but neither the Montana Democrat nor the Utah Republican offered detailed solutions of their own that Congress would likely pass. Baucus adopted an almost lecturing tone with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who appeared at the hearing to defend President Obama's fiscal 2012 budget proposal and its detailed provisions to block Medicare payment cuts in 2012 and 2013 (Reichard, 2/15).

Politico: Max Baucus Noncommittal On Don Berwick's Hearing
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus isn't ready to commit to a confirmation hearing for Don Berwick, the controversial head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. "I haven't decided yet," he told POLITICO on Tuesday. President Barack Obama re-nominated Berwick to the post last month. Berwick received a recess appointment in July after senators failed to act on his nomination amid fierce Republican opposition (Haberkorn, 2/15).

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