Of course, in the mid-term elections held on Tuesday the Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives and increased their number in the Senate but falling short of a majority there. Before that change occurs in January the current Democratically controlled Congress will hold a lame duck session. (The FEHBlog likes Daffy Duck who is not lame.) The AMA News explains that
Physicians are slated to get hit with a 25% reduction in Medicare payments over two months, according to the final 2011 physician fee schedule released Nov. 2 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. CMS revised that downward from its original estimate of a 29.5% cut. Pay is still slated to go down 23% on Dec. 1 but would go down 2% — rather than 6.5% — on Jan. 1, 2011, assuming Congress takes no action.
The medical community is pushing for the lame duck Congress to pass a 13 month patch to allow for negotiations with the new Congress. That should be really interesting, given the new budget cutting environment on Capitol Hill.
Finally, Computerworld reports that the Center for Democracy and Technology and fourteen other privacy advocacy groups submitted comments to OPM on the October 5, 2010, Federal Register notice announcing a new system of records under the Privacy Act in connection with a FEHBP health claims data warehouse. The CDT’s press release explains that