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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

MedPac: What’s It’s Role Going To Be?

Obama’s MedPAC expansion plans said to have received “cool reception” from lawmakers.

The New York Times (8/14) reports, “If President Obama has his way,” MedPAC chairman Glenn M. Hackbarth “could become one of the most important people in government, with the power to say how Medicare spends more than $450 billion a year.” MedPAC currently “has just 36 employees and a budget of $10.5 million,” but the president has proposed creating “a potent rate-setting body modeled” on the agency, one that would have the power to “propose broader ‘reforms to the Medicare program.'” However, the idea “is meeting resistance from lawmakers, doctors, hospitals and even some advocates for older Americans.” While the “proposal has received a cool reception in Congress,” it “has been welcomed by health economists and fiscal hawks eager to reduce the federal budget deficit and slow the growth of Medicare.”

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