Merry Christmas, Congress!

Congress completed its work for 2007 today by approving an omnibus appropriations bill, additional war funding, and a health extenders bill. The health extenders bill provides State Children’s Health Insurance Program with sufficient funding for the current program through March 2009 and it provides doctors with a half of one percent increase in Medicare reimbursement through June 2008. That’s a lot better than the scheduled 10.1% cut in Medicare reimbursement to physicians, and it’s good news for the FEHB Program which pays benefits secondary to Medicare on thousands of annuitant members.

The Members of Congress and Senators can now leave our fair city for their home districts. Mental health parity, genetic non-discrimination, and other health care issues will await their return in January 2008.