Republicans Continue To Screw Doctors As Well As Our Patients

I find it increasingly difficult to understand why so many of my colleagues vote Republican. Yes, they are doing so based upon their perception of financial self-interest, and we just might wind up with a slightly lower marginal tax rate. However, this means little if there are massive cuts in Medicare payments (not to mention the many other ways Republican policies screw virtually everybody). The Republicans have already repeatedly played politics with the attempts to fix the flawed sustainable growth formula.

Republicans are threatening to continue this policy. Orrin Hatch, ranking Republican member of the Senate Finance Committee, is threatening to hold the “doc fix” hostage in order to pursue their opposition to health care reform. The plan is to only approve the continued Medicare payments without a massive cut if the money is taken from health care reform.

Republicans such as Hatch are threatening physicians, as well as patients, in two ways. Failure to pass the “doc fix” will result in lowering Medicare payments to the point where the payments would not meet physician overhead costs and doctors would be forced to stop seeing Medicare patients.Medicare patients would become like Medicaid patients, who frequently are unable to find doctors who will accept them and who often wind up in “Medicaid mills.”  On the other hand, if Republicans win by taking money from health care reform, we will continue the status quo of increasing numbers of Americans going without coverage and of insurance companies being able to deny coverage when they find it more profitable to drop a patient.

Update: Jonathan Cohn notes that, while the Republicans insist upon finding offset cuts for the “doc fix” (including the cumulative costs of not allowing the cuts to go through for several years) they see no need to offset the cost of continuing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Cohn estimates that the tax cuts cost about twice as much as the “doc fix.”

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10 Comments

  1. 1
    Brett says:

    RT @RonChusid: Republicans Continue To Screw Doctors As Well As Our Patients #p2 #p21 #topprog http://bit.ly/el4X6d

  2. 2
    Cat West says:

    RT @BrettR4763: RT @RonChusid: Republicans Continue To Screw Doctors As Well As Our Patients #p2 #p21 #topprog http://bit.ly/el4X6d

  3. 3
    chico boy says:

    » Republicans Continue To Screw Doctors As Well As Our Patients …: However, this means little if there are mas… http://bit.ly/i3zvAB

  4. 4
    pkzmk says:

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  5. 5
    PLepp says:

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  6. 6
    Ray Lawson says:

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  7. 7
    Beth Ramey says:

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  8. 8
    eddie says:

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  9. 9
    Samuel Gompers says:

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  10. 10
    Tim Allen says:

    Ron, this is informative and is something i was argueing about with a colleague today. It is going up on my office door on campus and it is great to near this information from a doctor.

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