Thursday, May 27, 2010

Medicare Cuts Still in Play

In order to avoid "adding one dime to the deficit", Obamacare (Patient Protection and Unaffordable Health Care Act) had to play shell games with the funding. One way was to cut pay to doctors who treat Medicare patients by 21%.

In doing so they stripped billions out of the cost of Obamacare by projecting a $200 billion savings by cutting Medicare. The game plan was to add those billions back in via a separate bill termed "doc fix".

Problem is, they haven't yet "fixed" the problem and the docs are no longer joining hands with Congress and signing Kum Ba Ya.

Yesterday during a routine doctor visit there was a flyer advising patients to call their Senator and protest the Medicare cuts. If the cuts go through, this practice would have to limit the number of Medicare patients they treat and probably stop accepting new ones.

The folks at myway news have this to report.
For the third time this year, Congress is scrambling to stave off a hefty pay cut to doctors treating Medicare patients - even as the Obama administration mails out a glossy brochure to reassure seniors the health care program is on solid ground.

The 21.3 percent cut will take effect June 1 unless Congress intervenes in the next few days. Recurring uncertainty over Medicare fees is making doctors take a hard look at their participation in a program considered a bedrock of middle-class retirement security.

Don't mess with the gray panthers. They are a large and vocal group. As baby boomer's age into the system not only will they grow in number but it will put even more financial stress on an already leaky system.
"We will not have that cut," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., vowed Wednesday.

If Princess Nancy is to be believed, then that means the funding has to come from somewhere. There are only three ways to keep Medicare in play.

Cut reimbursement to doctors.

Increase taxes.

Restrict benefits such as through death squads.
"In the past two years, (lawmakers) keep coming up to the deadline - or a little past it - and waiving the cuts for shorter and shorter periods of time, which makes us uneasy," said Dr. Susan Crittenden, a primary care physician practicing near Raleigh, N.C.

"The current uncertainty about what the fee schedule will be, and whether at some point there will be a 20 percent cut, makes it harder to accept new Medicare patients," Crittenden said.

This uncertainty is what is prompting many docs to fire a shot across the bow of Obamacare.

Economist Marilyn Moon, a former Medicare trustee had this observation.
It's irresponsible" that the health care law left such a major issue unresolved, she said, while at the same time claiming to reduce the federal deficit.

Irresponsible is a good word.

So is liar, as in say anything to gain voter support then do what you want afterward.
Meanwhile, at a Capitol Hill news conference Wednesday, the Obama administration unveiled a brochure explaining the benefits of the new health care law to seniors. The government is mailing it to more than 40 million Medicare recipients, and Republicans are criticizing it as political spin. The law, says the brochure, "keeps Medicare strong and solvent."

Yeah, and if you like the health care plan you have now, you can keep it.

At least until Congress quits funding it.

Just another stupid government trick.
blog comments powered by Disqus