There are good ideas out there to help shore up Medicare finances, improve care, and meet provider needs, but Congress needs to be willing to take those ideas and mold them into meaningful legislation. No need to reinvent the wheel. Settling this issue once and for all would be a nice birthday gift for the program.
At the end of each roundtable Sen Baucus has requested additional information from the participants. He hasn't promised to present legislation this year, but it's clear that the committee wants to do something more than just punt for another year.
Will that happen? The news the last couple of days isn't at all promising as Congressional leaders signal their intentions to delay big decisions until after the November elections. While the life of Congress may center around elections, in the healthcare world nothing has stopped.
Patients are still seeking care and physicians are still providing it, even under the cloud of wondering if Congress will ever fix the SGR formula problem.