Morning CheckUp: January 19, 2012

CBO finds few savings from Medicare demonstration projects: “The Congressional Budget Office has some disappointing news: Two decades worth of experiments to bring down Medicare costs have not worked very well. The agency published results today from 10 Medicare demonstrations that have piloted new ways to coordinate care and tie provider payment to quality.” [Sarah Kliff]

Increasing number relying on government health programs: “The pool of Americans relying on government benefits rose to record highs last year as an increasing share of families tapped aid in a weak economy. Some 48.6% of the population lived in a household receiving some type of government benefit in the second quarter of 2010, up a notch from 48.5% in the first quarter, according to Census data.” [WSJ]

Quick deal on doc fix: “If Republicans really do want to get a long-term payroll tax agreement out of the way as quickly as possible, the result is likely to be a “doc fix” that only lasts through the end of this year — not the two-year fix House Republicans originally wanted. That’s the scenario that seems to be emerging on the Hill.” [Politico Pro]

Hospitals alert to looming cuts: “The American Hospital Association issued an action alert to its members Tuesday asking them to urge their lawmakers to avoid looming cuts as the House reconvenes this week.” [The Hill]


Massachusetts would suffer if health reform is repealed: John McDonough “went through major sections of the law, and came up with this list of three dozen substantive policies that would adversely affect Massachusetts residents if the ACA were repealed.” Click over for the list. [Boston Globe]

Health advocate blasts Obama for caving on public option: “The former head of the liberal advocacy group Health Care for America Now claims in a new book that the White House was “weak-kneed” in its push for progressive priorities such as a public option, and tried to get him fired when he spoke up.” [Julian Pecquet]