TGIF

Well the FEHBlog will be off to visit New York City for the weekend shortly and there’s not much to report.

The New York Times makes some prognostications about the President’s delayed budget proposal, suggesting that unlike prior years it may be not dead on arrival on Capitol Hill this year.

Mr. Obama’s proposed spending reductions include about $400 billion from health programs and $200 billion from other areas, including farm subsidies, federal employee retirement programs, the Postal Service and the unemployment compensation system.
In Medicare, the savings would mostly come from payments to health care providers, including hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, but Mr. Obama also proposes that higher-income beneficiaries pay more for coverage. 

These reductions and other “savings” in the budget are intended to replace the sequester.
The New York Times also reports on a National Association of Insurance Commissioners report recommending strategies to avoid rate shock on the health insurance exchanges next year. 

The options include tighter regulation of premiums, forcing insurers to cut costs or operate at a loss; financial assistance to consumers, in addition to subsidies that will be provided by the federal government; and programs to ensure that the costs of the sickest patients are shared by all insurers.

That’s a head scratcher.

Also Kaiser Health News is reporting that Walgreens is expanding its clinical offerings to chronically ill people. That should please the AMA.

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