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.
The American Hospital Association and Americas 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.
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.
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 shortgot favorable attention from The New York Times Magazine for its attempt to make the Republican Party the party of ideas.
By Reps. Frank Pallone Jr. and Robert J. Dold
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 its worth paying special attention to the smaller places with lawmaker contingents positioned to punch highest above their weight.
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 nations highways, rails and waterways because of its importance to the economy. And since theres 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.
The roots of todays 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.
Few characteristics unite Maryland, New Mexico and Missouri under the same umbrella. Maryland has a land mass less than one-tenth of New Mexicos and a median household income thats 50 percent higher. Missouris income and size, like its geography, put it near the mid-point between the other two states.
Congress has several legislative options to address shortfalls in the Highway Trust Fund, although most of them are politically unacceptable or unlikely.
Congestion is easy enough to recognize when youre sitting in traffic. But transportation officials dont follow a uniform standard in determining whether a road is adequately serving the need.
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.
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 theyve got.