Congress: At odds over rural Medicare

Aug. 26, 2003 at 10:41 AM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- A sticking point in Medicare negotiations is a $25 billion plan to raise Medicare reimbursements for rural health-care providers over the next 10 years.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and House Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas, R-Calif., have been at odds over the provision.

Grassley fears Thomas is stalling to gain leverage in the larger debate over modernizing the health-insurance program, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"It's less likely that these items will get the attention they deserve with every day that goes by," Jill Kozeny, Grassley's press secretary told the Journal. "Chairman Grassley wants to make sure the conference doesn't speed down a one-lane Medicare superhighway without stopping, or even slowing down, for rural America."

Thomas' office said the money involved is too much to be resolved by staff now. "The bigger dollar amounts, our members want to deal with directly," said John McManus, Thomas's top health aide.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Greek referendum: 'No' vote leads early results, opinion polls
Russian resupply spacecraft docks onto ISS to deliver needed provisions
Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa targeted heavily in airstrikes
Prison escapee David Sweat returned to maximum security prison
Maine reports first fireworks fatality since 2012 legalization