From A Charging Elephant:
All the kings horses and all the kings men couldn’t put Obama Care back together Again
Posted on November 15, 2010
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by Jim Campbell
During the Health Care Summit last February, Representative Paul Ryan (R-W) told President Obama, using Congressional Budget Office (CBO) numbers that the bill would not decrease the costs of health care insurance but increase them dramatically.
The bill was filled with smoke and mirrors. One half a trillion dollars are stripped from Medicare. He was able to do this in spite of the legerdemain involved with hiding monies and removing them from the budget so they would not be counted.
Senator Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were so eager to pass the bill, that the speakers commented; “we have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it.” Well Speaker Pelosi, the day of reckoning has arrived and it’s December 1st.
In the infamous words of Dr. Jeremiah Wright, “the chickens have come home to roost.
Physicians are now telling their patients that they will no longer take Medicare because of the dramatic cuts in the reimbursement schedule.
In a recent article by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar of the Associated Press, he noted that Breast cancer surgeon Kathryn Wagner, M.D. has posted a warning in her waiting room about a different sort of risk to patients’ health:
She’ll stop taking new Medicare cases if Congress allows looming cuts in doctor’s pay to go through.
The scheduled cuts – the result of a failed system set up years ago to control costs, have raised alarms that real damage to Medicare could result if the lame-duck Congress winds up in a partisan standoff and fails to act by Dec. 1.
That’s when an initial 23 percent reduction would hit.
Neither Democrats nor newly empowered Republicans want the sudden cuts, but there’s no consensus on how to stave them off.
The debate over high deficits complicates matters, since every penny going to pay physicians will have to come from cuts elsewhere. A reprieve of a few months may be the likeliest outcome.
That may not reassure doctors.
“My frustration level is at a nine or 10 right now,” said Wagner, who practices in San Antonio. “I am exceptionally exhausted with these annual and biannual threats to cut my reimbursement by drastic amounts.
As a business person, I can’t budget at all because I have no idea how much money is going to come in. Medicine is a business. Private practice is a business.”
The cuts have nothing to do with President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. They’re the consequence of a 1990s budget-balancing law whose requirements Congress has routinely postponed. But these cuts don’t go away; they come back for a bigger bite.
John C. Hogan III, M.D. an ophthalmologist in private practice in Kansas City, North, is the president of the Metropolitan Medical Society of Greater Kansas City and the editor of the journal Missouri Medicine.
He tells the readers of the Kansas City Star, that more Medicare cuts will force doctors to ration treatment. For 35 years, he has practiced as an ophthalmologist in Kansas City. Seniors and military families are his favorite patients. On Dec. 1, many physicians may no longer be able to provide medical care to people covered by Medicare or Tricare military insurance.
This is principally the result of Medicare reimbursement for physicians have long been decreasing. In the late 1980s, surgical removal of a cataract, insertion of an intra-ocular lens and three months of post-operative care was reimbursed $1,600 by Medicare. The figure now is $571.72 and falling.
All of this comes as no surprise to those that have been following the issue. In fact, it fails to take into account the number of physicians that will close their practices causing immediate rationing of care. Two of three physicians surveyed have indicated they would quit practicing medicine if the health care legislation became law.
The Democrats cry that there has never been any compromise on the part of Republicans. The Republicans counter with the private sector being the best way and least expensive way to cut costs, deliver outstanding service and treatment to patients while making affordable insurance available to all through malpractice reform; no longer allowing insurance companies to deny treatment for pre-existing conditions while allowing patients and employers to shop for policies that fit their needs across state lines.
The Republican also note that President Obama would never allow the Republican Minority plan to be introduced.
This has never been about healthcare, it has been the desire to create a larger government, a nanny state where Americans become more and more beholden to perceived handouts by a federal government gone wild.
The Republicans on the other hand, see this as a Constitutional violation and further encroachment of tyranny forced upon the people. There will be no compromise. Those Democrats still holding office will soon be coming up for election. Notably few Democrats voting for Obama Care were left standing after Election Day.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, I’m J.C.