Kaiser Health News, February 26, 2013
With $85 billion in automatic federal spending cuts set to take effect on Friday and predictions of economic disruption, much of official Washington is focused on the "blame game." Publicly, there has been no sign that Congress or administration officials has made any progress on averting these cuts or finding common ground on tackling the country's fiscal problems. But there are small signs that Democrats and Republicans are beginning to wrestle with the issue of what role Medicare should play in deficit reduction. Three Capitol Hill committees with jurisdiction over health care have scheduled hearings this week to examine Medicare's current benefit design and to review provisions in the 2010 health care law aimed at making the program more efficient.