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Signs of Life, but Don't Expect Bipartisan Bloom

If there was ever a sound reason for a congressional leader from one party to plant a kiss on the cheek of a leader from the other side, it was in the Rose Garden last week.

Medical Billing System Rollout Date Is Elusive

The American Hospital Association and America’s Health Insurance Plans have pushed to stick with the current plan for implementing the ICD-10 billing system. Many organizations began working toward the conversion of codes years ago. An initial target date for ICD-10 was October 2011, which was then pushed to October 2013. The date was delayed to October 2014, which was most recently kicked to October 2015.

Lawmakers May Let October Medical-Code Deadline Stick

The United States appears poised to join much of the developed world in switching over to a system of medical billing codes that was adopted in France, the United Kingdom, Australia and Germany more than a decade ago.

Return of the Reformicons | Pennsylvania Avenue

Last year, a group of mainly young conservative intellectuals made a splash with a document titled “Room to Grow,” attempting to outline policies that would address the problems, anxieties and worries of the middle class. The so-called Reform Conservative Movement — “Reformicons” for short—got favorable attention from The New York Times Magazine for its attempt to make the Republican Party “the party of ideas.”

100 Years Later, Time to Recognize the Armenian Genocide | Commentary

By Reps. Frank Pallone Jr. and Robert J. Dold

The Prosperity Corps: Millions of Americans Selling Products and Services Abroad | Commentary

By John L. Habib


A Few Delegations Newly Punching Above Their Weight

The newest Roll Call Clout Index reveals that, even more than before, the largest potential for influence belongs to the states with the most people and therefore the biggest delegations. So it’s worth paying special attention to the smaller places with lawmaker contingents positioned to punch highest above their weight.

Medicare’s Doctor Payments Are Fixed, Now It’s Time to Support Medicare Legislation to Keep Crucial EMS Helicopters Flying

By Rick Sherlock

Attitude Shift on Freight Infrastructure May Change the Way Congress Funds Transportation

With Congress starting work on reauthorizing highway and transit programs, several lawmakers from both parties want the government to give more attention to the movement of freight on the nation’s highways, rails and waterways because of its importance to the economy. And since there’s no agreement on how to replenish the Highway Trust Fund, which has mostly paid for road and rail projects for decades, these lawmakers want the new investments in freight infrastructure to have their own dedicated revenue stream.

A Trust Fund That Sprang a Leak

The roots of today’s transportation funding dilemma date to the 1990s, when the economy was roaring, deficits were shrinking and gas tax revenue was reliably increasing every year, thanks in part to two gas tax increases during that decade.

A View From the States

Few characteristics unite Maryland, New Mexico and Missouri under the same umbrella. Maryland has a land mass less than one-tenth of New Mexico’s and a median household income that’s 50 percent higher. Missouri’s income and size, like its geography, put it near the mid-point between the other two states.

Funding Options for the Nation's Infrastructure

Congress has several legislative options to address shortfalls in the Highway Trust Fund, although most of them are politically unacceptable or unlikely.

Defining Congestion: Waits and Measures

Congestion is easy enough to recognize when you’re sitting in traffic. But transportation officials don’t follow a uniform standard in determining whether a road is adequately serving the need.

Highway Funding Still Under Construction

Congress’ efforts to fund highway spending look like a driver trying to extricate a car from the snow. Lawmakers move an idea into first gear, then slip it into reverse, then back to first, hoping the back-and-forth-motion generates enough momentum to get off the slick spot and move some legislation.

Appropriators Hope for Budget-Deal Relief From Sequester-Level Spending Caps

Top House appropriators are crossing their fingers for another budget deal that would raise the tight sequester-level spending caps, but in the meantime they will consider a set of funding allocations that seek compromise with the budget limits they’ve got.

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