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Medicare fees to doctors to fall starting Tuesday

June 30th, 2008 . by TexasFred

WASHINGTON (AP) – One unpleasant task lawmakers will have over the July 4 recess is explaining to seniors why they didn’t stop a 10 percent fee cut, going into effect Tuesday, for doctors who treat Medicare patients.

Physicians have been running ads hinting that patients may find doctors less willing to treat them.

In a particularly vitriolic exchange, Democrats and Republicans blamed each other for what Dr. Nancy H. Nielsen, president of the American Medical Association, said has put the country “at the brink of a Medicare meltdown.”

“Seniors need continued access to the doctors they trust. It’s urgent that Congress make that happen,” the AMA said in ads taken out in Capitol Hill newspapers read by members of Congress and their aides.

Full Story Here:
Medicare fees to doctors to fall starting Tuesday

 I am one of those people that believes you have to work for what you get, I detest welfare, I believe that welfare tends to breed a welfare state of mind, and I have heard some say that the welfare of Medicare needs to end.

Medicare isn’t welfare, for those that don’t know it, Medicare is set in place to provide health care for those that have worked all their lives and paid their money into the Social Security Administration system on the premise that Social Security was going to be their retirement, Medicare is anything but welfare.

Every time the administration cuts Medicare payments to doctors, our seniors, and the disabled that rely on Medicare for their health care, are the ones that suffer the most, a lot of doctors aren’t in the medical profession simply for love of the game, many are in it for the money and Medicare just won’t pay enough for some of the more highly skilled, and field specific to become a part of that system. 

One near-certainty was that lawmakers, not willing to face millions of angry seniors at the polls in November, will act quickly when they return to Washington the week of July 7 to reverse the fee cut and provide retroactive payments to doctors for losses they incur after July 1.

I would certainly hope that our lawmakers would rectify this situation, quite frankly, there is no excuse for letting Medicare get into this position in the 1st place, Medicare and Social Security are quite often robbed to take up the slack and shortfalls of other greatly funded government agencies, agencies that are deemed more important than the providing of health care to some old bastards that are going to die pretty soon anyway, that seems to be the line of thought.

We can afford to keep on funding the war in Iraq with billions of American tax dollars, we can afford to hand Mexico $400M U.S. tax dollars so it can be embezzled, or most likely just plain stolen by corrupt Mexican officials SOURCE but we’re cutting the money that goes to taking care of our elderly, retired and disabled workers?

They might as well cut the money, I mean why the hell not, it seems like some of our government agencies are having to cut corners where the health and well-being of our military vets and retirees is concerned too.

A government that will take care of other nations before it will provide proper health care for it’s own citizens is not a government that I can trust nor be particularly proud of.

EDIT TO ADD: WASHINGTON - The Bush administration said Monday it is freezing a scheduled 10% fee cut for doctors who treat Medicare patients, giving Congress time to act to stop the cuts when lawmakers return from a July 4 recess.

Full Story Here: Medicare Fee Cut Put on Hold

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6 Responses to “Medicare fees to doctors to fall starting Tuesday”

  1. comment number 1 by: Bloviating Zeppelin

    It’s once again government sacrificing the many for the few. We just can’t keep going like this and, with all the others things occurring, I don’t see a positive aspect to the US for the next 10 years. I can’t seem to frame my perspective on Life these days around anything save negativity.

    BZ

  2. comment number 2 by: GUYK

    I concur..neither Social Security nor Medicare (which are supposed to be separate and self supporting funds) are welfare…at least the intent was for them not to be welfare. However, for some forty plus years the Social security fund has been robbed by congress who then has filled the Social Security coffers with IOU’s..worthless ones at that because the only way they can ever be redeemed is to raise taxes on the public. Medicare is hurting for funds no doubt..mostly because of the cost of modern medical care..which is driven upwards by lawyers who advertise on TV for unhappy patients who are willing to sue a doctor…

    It just could be that the best way to insure that the medicare fund is adequate is to use part of it to put a bounty on tort lawyers..at the very least when a doctor..or his insurance company wins a suit..the one losing should be made to pay the legal fees of the victor..

  3. comment number 3 by: ablur

    The first ones to have their hand in my pay check is SS and Medicare. I see the money sucked out every two weeks. No one asks. Apperently there isn’t going to be anything left for us. The Ponzi scheme has been exposed and the congress will have to scramble to cover up the vulnarability.

    We need someone to pass a law demanding a formal review of all government programs. Any program that is not performing according to its purpose and charter should be cut. They should be judged by their effectiveness and if found wanting then they are abolished. Programs that are actually working as intended will be allowed to continue. That right there should reduce government by 60% leaving plenty of money to pay down debt and restore our SS programs. Nobody has the gutts though.

  4. comment number 4 by: nunoftheabove

    How interesting that Bush has frozen the cut. I believe that both of our Texas Senators voted to let the cut go through.

    My specific concern is two-fold. The first is the lack of transparency within the health care industry especially when any type of insurance comes in to play. Doctors have established a two-tier billing system–one tier for those with insurance and the other for those without. Doctor’s submit bills that are inflated to make sure that they get the maximum that medicare or insurance will pay.

    The other concern is that when medicare funding goes down, doctors will increase service fees to private insurance and private pay customers.

    The health care system in the US is broken and the smoke and mirrors method of charging patients based on their payment avenue has to be reformed.

  5. comment number 5 by: Layla

    My God Fred what the heck is wrong with these people in D.C.? I suppose they believe they will NEVER become old right? Oh this infuriates me to no end.

    My parents are elderly. My dear Dad turned 78 on Flag Day, June 14th – he retired when he was 63 before things got ugly. My sweet Mom, God bless her soul is turned 74 years old this past March 26th and she is still working three days a week from 9-5. She has had this job for over twenty years and used to work five days a week, now as I said three. She cannot retire because the cost of medicine, gas, food, taxes on EVERYTHING are too high. My Dad used to do side jobs for the neighbors, but most have moved and times have changed.

    I hate to think that my parents in their 70′s have to worry about what should be an after thought by their age. The golden years are supposed to be golden.

    I HATE DC and its crappy POLITICS. They are all selfish PIGS!

  6. comment number 6 by: BobF

    Layla, the people in DC have a health and retirement system that have no rivals anywhere in the world. They’ll never have to worry about Social Security or Medicare.

    Social Security and Medicare better be there when it comes time for me to retire. I paid into those systems since I started working as a teenager and I’m now 53. I think I contributed my share of things. It doesn’t matter if I need it or not. I still want it because it’s MY MONEY. It was taken from me and as a young NCO, my family had to do without because of that money wasn’t available to us….20 years ago military folks didn’t get paid as well as they do now.

    The pisser is that if my wife and I were to die in an accident tomorrow, every penny we put into the system for the past 35 years would be lost since our children are all adults. Every stinking penny of my money the government would keep. That’s not right.