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Shaping Administrative Policy with the Aid of Congressional Oversight: The Senate Finance Committee and Medicare

John P. Bradley
The Western Political Quarterly
Vol. 33, No. 4 (Dec., 1980), pp. 492-501
DOI: 10.2307/448067
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/448067
Page Count: 10
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Shaping Administrative Policy with the Aid of Congressional Oversight: The Senate Finance Committee and Medicare
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Abstract

Focusing on the Senate Finance Committee's oversight of the Medicare program, this article concludes that the oversight function of Congress may contribute to the accomplishment of policies sought by administrators. Secondly, committee-bureau cooperation was found in opposition to interest groups rather than there being a "cozy triangle" relationship. Evidence is presented concerning Medicare reimbursement issues where the committee and administrators in the Bureau of Health Insurance shared similar policies. Higher-level administrators did not accept the BHI policies until after the committee undertook oversight activities. Oversight is seen as supportive of administrative goals, and committee-bureau cooperation as resulting in policies unfavorable to provider groups. Although relations changed somewhat after 1972, the committee continued its interest in Medicare reimbursement policies including questions raised by hospital cost containment proposals of the Carter Administration.

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