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HEALTH REFORM: Mark Your Calendars

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today announced a series of health reform roundtables for the months of April and May that will focus on delivery system reform, coverage, and financing. From the press release, the scheduled hearings are as follows:

April 21, 2009 - Reforming America's health care delivery system: this discussion will focus on improving the quality and efficiency of care through establishing value-based purchasing programs and strengthening the role of primary care, better managing patients with chronic illnesses, facilitating the use of comparative effectiveness research and other tools that support evidence-based care, reducing hospital readmissions, reforming payments to private plans in Medicare, and increasing transparency and reducing fraud and abuse in federally financed health care programs. 

May 5, 2009 - Increasing access to health care coverage: this conversation will focus on potential policies to expand health care coverage to all Americans including proposals to strengthen the health care safety net, expand public health care programs, expand access to private health coverage by creating premium subsidies for low-income Americans and reform the individual and small group health insurance markets, create tax credits for small businesses to afford insurance, make it easier to shop for and find affordable coverage options, and focus on the prevention of disease and promotion of healthy lifestyles. 

May 14, 2009 - Financing comprehensive health care reform: this discussion will focus on policies to finance the cost of investing in comprehensive health care reform.