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Eric Johnson
04-09-2010, 09:01 PM
dnf777-

Heard a local Dr. interviewed today. He said that a 21% cut in Medicare is immediately at hand. Because of this, he said specialists are getting ready to refuse Medicare patients. Any truth to this?

Eric

M&K's Retrievers
04-09-2010, 10:39 PM
I don't know how accurate the 21% number is, but several of my physician clients and friends have told me they are done with Medicare and done with giving pro bono care.

Eric Johnson
04-13-2010, 06:18 AM
I guess that the "pro-healthcareplan" folks were too embarrassed to answer the question. So, I've just found the answer.

******
Action Needed to Fix TRICARE
Week of April 12, 2010

As of April 1, 2010, Medicare and TRICARE payments to physicians were cut by 21 percent. The reduced payment rate may result in fewer doctors being willing to accept TRICARE, which could leave millions of seniors and military beneficiaries without a primary care provider. Organizations like the Military Officers Association of America are urging the Senate to pass H.R. 4851 which would extend the current payment rate until May 1, 2010. The Senate is considering taking action on H.R. 4851 but it is being delayed over technical budget details.

--from Military Report 4/12/2010
*******

So much for the "there won't be rationing" argument.

Eric

ducknwork
04-13-2010, 06:49 AM
There won't be rationing. It'll just force those folks into buying the government plan. How convenient!

I thought that if you liked your insurance, you would be able to keep it?:confused:

dnf777
04-13-2010, 06:59 AM
I guess that the "pro-healthcareplan" folks were too embarrassed to answer the question. So, I've just found the answer.


My apologies for not conforming to your timeline, but here is another answer.
The physician payment non-sustainability forumula, which has been in place for over 15 years, and is admittedly flawed by its very own authors, has been a target of physican groups for years. There is an annual game played where the cuts are repealed at the last minute by vote of congress. Each year, offices deny new MC patients as a posture, the cuts are abated, and life goes on.

Does MC pay as much as docs would like? No. but they pay something when nobody else will. I would rather see economic growth, job creation, and more money (both private and insurance) flowing into my office.

I will continue to see medicare and charity cases.

Why all the concern about Medicare? I thought it was just another Obama Marxist Stalinist Nazi communist socialist program to redistribute your wealth? Just like public education and student loans and grants? (did I cover it all, or forget something?)

YardleyLabs
04-13-2010, 07:00 AM
Yes. This is the automatic rate cut required by law. When Democrats included a repeal of the automatic rate cuts in HR 3200, Republicans used the cost of that provision to attack the program as a net increase to the budget. When Democrats proposed a bill to eliminate the rate cut requirement as a standalone bill, Republicans killed it with a filibuster because they wanted the change to be included in the overall health reform package to drive up the apparent cost. Republicans reportedly also rejected efforts to override the legal requirement for a 1-2 year period as was done every year under Bush, hoping to use this as an on-going source of political embarrassment for Democrats. The cost of sustaining the rates is about $20+ billion per year. No change can be made without bi-partisan support. I think the ball is now in Republican hands.

aandw
04-13-2010, 07:18 AM
"The cost of sustaining the rates is about $20+ billion per year. No change can be made without bi-partisan support. I think the ball is now in Republican hands."
the ball is in the dems. hands and has been for over a year. the dems. still have 59 votes. they don't need any reps. for the vote. if it is such a good thing for the american people, bring it to the floor and vote. if the reps. filibuster then it is on them. blaming the reps. for not being able to pass anything is cowardly and dishonest.

dnf777
04-13-2010, 07:31 AM
"The cost of sustaining the rates is about $20+ billion per year. No change can be made without bi-partisan support. I think the ball is now in Republican hands."
the ball is in the dems. hands and has been for over a year. the dems. still have 59 votes. they don't need any reps. for the vote. if it is such a good thing for the american people, bring it to the floor and vote. if the reps. filibuster then it is on them. blaming the reps. for not being able to pass anything is cowardly and dishonest.

Hmmm....the republicans had the house and senate and whitehouse for 6 years, not to mention a senate majority leader who was a physician himself, and no action was taken. I won't retype Yardley's spot-on description of what happened recently, but you might want to re-read it without partisan goggles on, and see who's being dishonest here.

YardleyLabs
04-13-2010, 07:39 AM
"The cost of sustaining the rates is about $20+ billion per year. No change can be made without bi-partisan support. I think the ball is now in Republican hands."
the ball is in the dems. hands and has been for over a year. the dems. still have 59 votes. they don't need any reps. for the vote. if it is such a good thing for the american people, bring it to the floor and vote. if the reps. filibuster then it is on them. blaming the reps. for not being able to pass anything is cowardly and dishonest.
When I said it is in Republican hands now it was because the Republicans have already stopped action with the filibuster. Unless Republicans agree to support a change in advance, there is no purpose to bringing it up again.

aandw
04-13-2010, 07:46 AM
dnf you are right, the reps. sucked 10 yrs ago. you happy?

yardley, my point is if it is such a good thing. let everybody know about it, sell it to the american people. bring it to the floor, make the filibuster official. the reps. will pay if it is a good thing.

Eric Johnson
04-13-2010, 09:29 AM
When Democrats proposed a bill to eliminate the rate cut requirement as a standalone bill, Republicans killed it with a filibuster because they wanted the change to be included in the overall health reform package to drive up the apparent cost.

There's no "apparent" to this cost. Congress was going to "reform" healthcare in this country. A fix to this issue should have been included. The fact that it would have driven the costs so high as to make other aspects of the bill not cost-effective is an invalid reason to continue this farce. What should have happened is that this should have been fixed and then other parts of the program fallen by the wayside. However, probably the bill then wouldn't have passed because of the special interests and deals that would have had to be passed over.

The fact that one party or the other did this or that.....they both were playing games and they were both wrong. That's why so many of them will be joining the ranks of the unemployed at the end of the year. Why defend the worthless pieces of ....? For that matter, when did "they did it too" become a legitimate defense for anything....throwing stones through windows or murder or just plain stealing as Congress has done?

Military.com would lead us to believe that this is the first time that both Medicare and Tricare have been affected.

Eric

Buzz
04-13-2010, 09:41 AM
dnf you are right, the reps. sucked 10 yrs ago. you happy?

yardley, my point is if it is such a good thing. let everybody know about it, sell it to the american people. bring it to the floor, make the filibuster official. the reps. will pay if it is a good thing.


This is hard to argue with. I'm sick and tired of things not coming to the floor because of the treat of filibuster. Make them filibuster for real.

This is part of the reason that I am registered Independent. Democrats are gutless wonders.

YardleyLabs
04-13-2010, 09:59 AM
There's no "apparent" to this cost. Congress was going to "reform" healthcare in this country. A fix to this issue should have been included. ...
But it was OK for Republicans to propose annual overrides to prevent rate cuts over an eight year period without ever proposing health care reform of any kind?

dnf777
04-13-2010, 10:29 AM
This is hard to argue with. I'm sick and tired of things not coming to the floor because of the treat of filibuster. Make them filibuster for real.

This is part of the reason that I am registered Independent. Democrats are gutless wonders.

Nicely said Buzz.
I wish all legislation would get a fair up/down vote.
I wish major legislation would be presented "solo", with no attachments, earmarks, or other 'contaminants' and surprises. Amendments should ONLY be related to what's germaine in the bill, not additional earmarks.

Then an issue such as healthcare could be examined, debated, and voted upon, based on it's inherent traits.

Your assessment of the dems is right on, too.

YardleyLabs
04-13-2010, 10:32 AM
This is hard to argue with. I'm sick and tired of things not coming to the floor because of the treat of filibuster. Make them filibuster for real.

This is part of the reason that I am registered Independent. Democrats are gutless wonders.
I generally agree. I also agree with critics that any fix for the Medicare rate problem should be handled on a PayGo basis rather than treated as an emergency with no offsetting funding/cuts. It was inappropriate to allow fee increases each year for eight years under Republican leadership, and it is inappropriate to do the same under Democratic leadership.

The last successful Democratic effort to delay the rate cuts was introduced in February and included both an emergency extension of unemployment benefits and a delay of Medicare rate cuts. Senator Bunning conducted a real life filibuster for several days before Republican agreed to a cloture vote. They then proposed an additional extension of unemployment benefits that would also delay Medicare rate cuts until the end of the year. That was filibustered by Senator Coburn until the Senate adjourned for Spring recess, guaranteeing that the rate cut would go into effect as scheduled on April 1. When the Senate reconvened, Coburn continued his efforts to block consideration of this bill. Last night, with four Republican votes, the Senate voted to consider the measure. It will now be debated. If the filibuster is continued, there will be another cloture vote, which Democrats will either win or lose, followed by a vote on the issue. However, until that happens, the rate cut will remain in place. (See, for example, http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20001285-503544.html). There was already a bill adopted in the Senate late last year, following a successful cloture vote to end the Republican filibuster. However, there were differences between the Senate bill and the House bill that require conferencing. That did not proceed after the Democrats lost the Massachusetts seat. Since that time, the Medicare rate issue has been wedded to unemployment benefit extensions to garner additional support.

badbullgator
04-13-2010, 11:10 AM
The problem with this is that all other insurance ties their pay schedule to medicare's rates.