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 to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom Trump awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist, former Reagan adviser Arthur Laffer Second ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators 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 WydenWyden blasts FEC Republicans for blocking probe into NRA over possible Russia donations Wyden calls for end to political ad targeting on Facebook, Google Ex-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity 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 WarnerFacebook users in lawsuit say company failed to warn them of known risks before 2018 breach New intel chief inherits host of challenges Overnight Defense: US, Russia tensions grow over nuclear arms | Highlights from Esper's Asia trip | Trump strikes neutral tone on Hong Kong protests | General orders ethics review of special forces MORE (D-Va.) and Johnny IsaksonJohn (Johnny) Hardy IsaksonGeorgia senator discharged from hospital after fall Georgia senator hospitalized after fall Senate GOP raises concerns about White House stopgap plan to avoid shutdown MORE (R-Ga.). The Finance Committee held a hearing earlier this year.

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