Senate passes bipartisan Medicare reform bill

The Senate on Tuesday night unanimously passed a bill aimed at making Medicare more efficient and saving it money.

The passage of the under-the-radar bipartisan health-care reforms came on the same day that Senate Republicans abandoned a vote on a bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

The bipartisan bill that passed Tuesday night, known as the CHRONIC Care Act, expands some programs created by the Affordable Care Act, but they are more obscure programs that are largely outside the realm of controversy.

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The bill includes a range of programs aimed at improving how Medicare pays for care with people with chronic conditions and lowers Medicare costs in the long run.

“This legislation will improve disease management, lower Medicare costs and streamline care coordination services — all without adding to the deficit,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump administration backs Oracle in Supreme Court battle against Google Timeline: Trump and Romney's rocky relationship Key Republicans say Biden can break Washington gridlock MORE (R-Utah) said in a statement.

He added the measure is “one of the few bipartisan healthcare bills to pass the Senate this Congress.”

The bill’s provisions include expanding a program created by ObamaCare that provides care for seniors in their homes; giving new tools to groups of doctors that come together to coordinate care for a patient, known as Accountable Care Organizations; and expanding the use of telehealth, where doctors use technology to communicate with patients far away.

“Today is a big day in the ongoing effort to update and strengthen Medicare’s guarantee to seniors,” said Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHillicon Valley — Presented by Facebook — FCC fines mobile carriers 0M for selling user data | Twitter verified fake 2020 candidate | Dems press DHS to complete election security report | Reddit chief calls TikTok spyware FCC proposes over 0 million in fines against top mobile carriers FCC to hit mobile carriers with fines over location sharing: report MORE (Ore.), the top Democrat on the Finance Committee.

The bill was first introduced last year and was the product of a bipartisan working group led by Sens. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSchumer urges GOP to oppose Trump's intel pick Trump again taps Ratcliffe to serve as intelligence chief Surveillance fight emerges as intelligence flashpoint MORE (D-Va.) and Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonGOP, Democrats hash out 2020 strategy at dueling retreats Loeffler releases new ad targeting Sanders's 'socialism' House Freedom Caucus chairman endorses Collins's Georgia Senate bid MORE (R-Ga.). The Finance Committee held a hearing earlier this year.

Hatch and Wyden both urged the House to pass the measure.