A long-standing idea of combining what consumers pay for their portion of Medicare hospital and doctor treatment costs is gaining new attention as lawmakers search for ways to slow the growth of what the government pays for the programs.
The concept of merging the deductibles for Medicare Part A insurance, which covers hospital stays, and Part B, which covers doctors' services, is one of the few ideas that appeals to both parties. Seniors who have a serious illness could pay less, but for most seniors, the net effect would be an increase in their out-of-pocket expenses.
Senior House GOP aides said it was among the deficit-reduction options the White House and Republicans have discussed in the past. They also said President Barack Obama indicated he was open to the idea when he met recently with House Republicans on Capitol Hill.
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Source: Wall Street Journal