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Bachmann Medicaid Hypocrisy

From Today.com:

Michael Isikoff–6/28/2011 7:46:46 PM

While Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has forcefully denounced the Medicaid program for swelling the “welfare rolls,” the mental health clinic run by her husband has been collecting annual Medicaid payments totaling over $137,000 for the treatment of patients since 2005, according to new figures obtained by NBC News.

The previously unreported payments are on top of the $24,000 in federal and state funds that Bachmann & Associates, the clinic founded by Marcus Bachmann, a clinical therapist, received in recent years under a state grant to train its employees, state records show. The figures were provided to NBC News in response to a Freedom of Information request.

The clinic, based in Lake Elmo, Minn., describes itself on its website as offering “quality Christian counseling” for a large number of mental health problems ranging from “anger management” to addictions and eating disorders. Continue reading

Health Care Reform Saves Seniors A Combined $260 Million

From The Hill:

By Julian Pecquet – 06/28/11 10:07 AM ET

Almost half a million seniors on Medicare had saved a combined $260 million on their medicines by the end of last month thanks to the healthcare reform law, the Obama administration announced Tuesday.

A total of 478,272 people have taken advantage of the law’s 50 percent prescription discount for seniors in the Medicare “doughnut hole,” according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The month of May saw a sharp increase in the number of beneficiaries benefiting from the provision, up 76 percent from 270,900 at the end of April.

“As more and more beneficiaries hit the donut hole through the rest of this year,” CMS Administrator Don Berwick said in a statement, “the numbers will continue to climb. All of these beneficiaries will see savings on their drug costs that were not available in previous years.”

The agency also released a state-by-state breakdown of the numbers, showing that California saw the greatest benefit, with 54,586 seniors saving almost $30 million.

Religious Groups Rally Against Medicaid Cuts

From The Hill

By Julian Pecquet – 06/28/11 03:30 PM ET  

The nation’s largest Jewish organization announced Tuesday that it’s convening other religious groups to fight Medicaid cuts, the same day a nonpartisan coalition of providers and health plans separately launched an ad campaign against the cuts.

The Jewish Federation of North America says it’s partnering with other major faith-based groups – Lutheran Services of America, Catholic Health Association and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism among them – to fight against Medicaid cuts. As part of its effort, the federation examined how the federal Medicaid funding cuts called for in House Republicans’ budget proposal would affect the nation’s largest cities.

Meanwhile, the Partnership for Medicaid launched an ad campaign to push back against Medicaid cuts that are on the table as part of debt ceiling talks. Advocates believe the $1 trillion in domestic spending cuts that the White House has put on the table includes $100 billion in Medicaid cuts, the same amount that President Obama called for in his April 13 deficit reduction speech. Continue reading

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