- Al Gore’s climate-changers at EPA hearings foiled by cool temperatures
- Army’s 3-D printed bombs will create ‘a whole new universe’ of deadly capabilities
- Hamas calls on Hezbollah to join in fight against Israel
- Senators to FIFA, others: Don’t reward Putin with the World Cup in 2018
- U.S. condemns Israeli shelling of shelter in Gaza
- Obamacare shoots premiums up by 88 percent in California
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- Obama to Republicans: ‘Stop just hatin’ all the time’
- U.S. chemical sites vulnerable despite millions spent on security: Congress
- Driverless cars to hit the British streets by 2015
Obama administration backs off plan to cut prescription-drug program
Question of the Day
Congressional Democrats expressed relief and Republican leaders did a victory lap Monday after the Obama administration said it will not implement proposed changes to the Medicare program’s prescription-drug benefits.
House Republicans held hearings last week to push back against suggested changes to the popular Medicare Part D program, saying it would limit choices for seniors.
Rep. Joe Pitts, Pennsylvania Republican, was particularly vocal, saying “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”
The administration’s rules would have whittled down the number of “protected classes” of drugs the program must cover, modified standards to participate in preferred pharmacy networks, and reduced the number of Part D plans a sponsor could offer.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it had heard “numerous concerns about some elements of the proposal from members of Congress and stakeholders.”
“Given the complexities of these issues and stakeholder input, we do not plan to finalize these proposals at this time,” CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said Monday. “We will engage in further stakeholder input before advancing some or all of the changes in these areas in future years.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said his members were “pleasantly surprised” by the announcement.
“This is good news for seniors who have already seen the administration cut Medicare to fund Obamacare,” he said, while adding that Republicans “remain concerned” about proposed payment reductions to an insurer-run alternative to traditional Medicare, known as Medicare Advantage.
Rep. Sander Levin, Michigan Democrat and the Ways and Means panel ranking member, said the administration’s voluntary decision negated any need for House Republicans to pass a bill that prevents CMS from implementing the regulations.
To do so would be “a gross overreach, undermining the regulatory process,” he said. “Republicans should withdraw this bill.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- U.S. woman with Ebola is stable, improving, son says
- U.S. surgeon general is hesitant about green-lighting marijuana
- Senators to FIFA, others: Don't reward Putin with the World Cup in 2018
- Ohio Gov. John Kasich cruising to re-election: survey
- GOP seizes on Alison Lundergan Grimes' odd 'Iron Dome' comments
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
- Geraldo Rivera: Matt Drudge 'doing his best to stir up a civil war'
- Lois Lerner hated conservatives, new emails show
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- HURT: Impeaching Obama is a losing strategy for the GOP
- CARSON: Rudderless U.S. foreign policy
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
- Senate overcomes first filibuster of Obama's border-spending bill
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world