WASHINGTON–President Obama today reached out to Republicans by proposing to include 4 of their ideas in healthcare reform legislation.
In a letter to the Republican congressional leadership, he also defended his decision to reduce the cost of the Medicare Advantage compared to Medicare fee-for-service programs.
The Republican proposals he would accept include beefing up programs to combat fraud, waste and abuse in government-sponsored healthcare plans; expand health savings accounts; provide more funds for demonstration projects in the states on alternative means of dealing with medical liability lawsuits; and looking at ways of increase reimbursement for serving Medicaid patients.
The ideas he agreed to include in his compromise legislation would:
–Seek to combat fraud, waste, and abuse in healthcare delivery by agreeing to hire medical professionals to conduct random undercover investigations of health care providers that receive reimbursements from Medicare, Medicaid, and other Federal programs.
–Increase funding to states by $50 million for demonstrations of alternatives to resolving medical malpractice disputes, including health courts.
–Agreed to consider increasing Medicaid reimbursements to doctors. “I’m open to exploring ways to address this issue in a fiscally responsible manner,” he said.