Sara Kliff: The Amazing News Buried Inside A 283-Page Medicare Report
This is arguably the most unexpected piece of news in the new Medicare Trustees report: the government’s hospital insurance program might be spending less money to cover more beneficiaries than it did a year ago. Medicare’s hospital insurance program — known to wonks as Medicare Part A — spent $266.8 billion covering 50.3 million people in 2012. In 2013, the the same program spent $266.2 billion to cover 51.9 million people. what’s definitely clear — and what’s driving this trend — is that Medicare is spending significantly less per person than they did two years ago.
And this report expects that trend to continue for another two years going forward. By 2015, the Medicare Trustees’ Report projects that the program will spend less per person on hospital care than it did in 2008. This doesn’t happen much in health care: not just slower growth, but the actual dollar amount spent on a given type of care dropping. The Affordable Care Act, for example, penalizes preventable readmissions — times when seniors turn up at the hospital a second time after something goes wrong during their first visit. Readmissions have been falling pretty steadily for the last few years, and those reductions could be showing up in the lower per-person spending.
On This Day: Barack Obama blows out candles on his birthday cake at his 43rd birthday celebration with his wife Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia during a fundraiser, August 4, 2004 in Matteson, Illinois
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Today (all times Eastern)
11:0: President Obama receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
Tuesday: President Obama delivers remarks and participates in the U.S.-Africa Business Forum. In the evening, the President and First Lady will host a dinner at the White House for African heads of state and government and select guests
Wednesday: The President participates in Summit Leader Meetings as part of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit
Thursday & Friday: Attends meetings at the White House
SFGate: House panel: No administration wrongdoing in Benghazi attack
The House Intelligence Committee, led by Republicans, has concluded that there was no deliberate wrongdoing by the Obama administration in the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, said Rep. Mike Thompson of St. Helena, the second-ranking Democrat on the committee.
The panel voted Thursday to declassify the report, the result of two years of investigation by the committee. U.S. intelligence agencies will have to approve making the report public.
Thompson said the report “confirms that no one was deliberately misled, no military assets were withheld and no stand-down order (to U.S. forces) was given.”
Steve Benen: The House GOP’s immigration plan: ‘Deport ‘em all’
For two years, House Republicans have been under pressure to tackle legislation related to immigration. Late Friday night, the wait ended – the GOP majority finally held votes on the issue.
They just weren’t the vote the American mainstream had in mind.
Early in July, many congressional Republicans actually intended to approve President Obama’s plan to address the humanitarian crisis at the U.S./Mexico border. But the GOP’s posture kept shifting – from amending to Obama’s plan, to destroying it, to passing a far-right proposal that wasn’t considered extreme enough, to Friday night’s sad theatrics.
President Obama in August will welcome leaders from across the African continent to the Nation’s Capital for a three-day U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, the first such event of its kind. This Summit, the largest event any U.S. President has held with African heads of state and government, will build on the President’s trip to Africa in the summer of 2013 and it will strengthen ties between the United States and one of the world’s most dynamic and fastest growing regions. Specifically, the August 4-6 Summit will advance the Administration’s focus on trade and investment in Africa and highlight America’s commitment to Africa’s security, its democratic development, and its people. At the same time, it will highlight the depth and breadth of the United States’ commitment to the African continent, advance our shared priorities and enable discussion of concrete ideas to deepen the partnership. At its core, this Summit is about fostering stronger ties between the United States and Africa.
President Obama presents cupcakes with a candle to Hearst White House columnist Helen Thomas in honor of her birthday in the James Brady Briefing Room, on Aug. 4, 2009. Thomas, who turned 89, shares the same birthday as the President, who turned 48 (Photo by Pete Souza)
On This Day: President Obama jokingly points out cake crumbs that Vice President Biden dropped on the floor in the Oval Office following a birthday celebration for the President on Aug. 4, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama tries out the fly fishing rod given to him on his birthday by a group of avid fisherman on his staff, on Aug. 4, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
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Lisa Nigro of Chicago, Illinois receives the 2010 Citizens Medal from President Obama in the East Room of the White House August 4, 2010 in Washington, DC. Nigro’s mission to aid those living on the streets of Chicago has created a restaurant for homeless men and women, expanding with partner organizations to provide housing, job training, and vital support to Chicagoans affected by poverty.
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MoooOOOooorning! A bit short of time, so a bit of a short R&S. We’ll catch up through the day.