Mary Agnes Carey has covered health reform and federal health policy for more than 15 years as an editor at CQ HealthBeat
, as Capitol Hill Bureau Chief for Congressional Quarterly
and at Dow Jones Newswires. A frequent radio and television commentator, recently featured on the Nightly Business Report, the PBS NewsHour and on NPR affiliates nationwide, Mary Agnes has a thorough understanding of both the policy and politics of health reform. She worked for newspapers in Connecticut and Pennsylvania, and has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. | Contact: MaryAgnesC@kff.org
President Obama's 2014 budget plan includes a number of money-saving changes to Medicare, some of which have triggered concern from patient and provider groups.
The administration budget request also includes $2 billion in grants to states for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.
Federal funding for Medicaid is untouched but doctors, hospitals and other Medicare providers will see a 2 percent reduction.
A bipartisan House bill and an effort by GOP leaders seek to stop the threats of drastic cuts each year.
Although Medicare and Medicaid will be largely unscathed in the March 1 sequestration, other health-related efforts including medical research, mental health treatments and drug approvals face reductions.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who helped create the Children’s Health Insurance Program and fought to protect the social safety net, says he will not seek reelection in 2014.
In a letter to governors, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says states that expand Medicaid must cover people making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level to get enhanced funding.
An effort in California to move Medicaid patients into managed care has national significance as federal officials roll out a similar but larger program for as many as 2 million people who qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare.
As Congress and the president aim for a deal by year's end, there may be serious consequences for health programs.
The proposed regulations deal with several key issues, such as how plans structure their health benefits, the variations on premiums based on age and requirements for wellness programs.