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Privately, 2 Committee Chairs Give Health Insurers a $22 Billion Break

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  1. Freedom of Information
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The health insurance industry got a last-minute, $22 billion break in December when two members of Congress met privately to put the finishing touches on a bill trimming the federal budget. The Washington Post reported that House Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif) and Senate Finance committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) met with staff to work out changes in a Medicare reimbursement formula that will benefit the insurance industry. No Democratic lawmakers, and no other committee members, were present. The Senate has approved the measure; the House will vote on it when it returns. (1/24/06)