KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Former Congressional Staffer Faces Scrutiny In Medicare Advantage Leak

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, continues asking questions about a recent Medicare Advantage leak that reverberated through the stock market, while members of the Senate Finance Committee react to the Medicare funding reductions advanced by President Barack Obama.

Politico: Chuck Grassley Eyes Former Aide In Medicare Advantage Leak
A Washington law firm and a former congressional aide are facing scrutiny over a leak of sensitive details on Medicare Advantage payment rates that may have sparked hundreds of millions of dollars in stock trading on insurance companies before the information was made public. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is questioning whether a lobbyist at Greenberg Traurig, a K Street law firm, tipped off Height Securities, a political intelligence firm, regarding a soon-to-be-announced increase in Medicare Advantage rates. Height quickly put out an investor alert before the markets closed on April 1 -- and before the government announced it was raising the rates after earlier proposing the largest cuts in the history of Medicare Advantage (Millman, 4/17).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: The Medicare Budget Cuts No One Likes
Just in case the Obama administration didn't know it already, cutting Medicare is hard to do. During a Senate Finance Committee hearing Wednesday on President Barack Obama's fiscal 2014 budget, Democrats and Republicans proved that. Both Republicans, who have sought major changes to entitlements, and Democrats, who have vowed to preserve the programs, expressed concerns with the president's blueprint (Carey, 4/18).

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