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Obama wants Medicare reimbursement rates out of congressional hands

Washington Post, July 16, 2009

President Obama is pressing lawmakers to give up boosting Medicare payments to benefit hometown providers. Setting reimbursement rates for local healthcare providers is a legislative ritual that amounts to one of the most effective and lucrative forms of constituent service. Delivering federal money through Medicare can be a powerful tool on the campaign trail, allowing lawmakers to argue that they are creating jobs and improving the quality of healthcare for voters. Obama administration officials say they are determined to stem soaring Medicare spending.