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Medicare Cuts Looming Unless Congress Intervenes
Ozarks First ^ | November 28, 2011 | Lisa Sylvester (For CNN)

Posted on 11/28/2011 9:19:13 AM PST by yorkie

You could call it fallout from the Super Committee's big flop. Deficit-reducing budget cuts are slated to take effect in just over a year. Among those taking cuts -- hospitals and doctors that treat low-income patients.

Dr. William Strudwick is the director of the emergency department at Providence Hospital in northeast Washington DC. It's a neighborhood hospital with a patient base of the elderly and working poor.

"About 70 percent of the patients that come through our door rely on Medicare or Medicaid," Dr. Strudwick says.

But Medicare payments to Providence Hospital and other medical providers are slated for a 2 percent cut over the next nine years starting in 2013. This follows the congressional "super committee" failure to reach a deal on $1.2 trillion in spending cuts.

(Excerpt) Read more at ozarksfirst.com ...


TOPICS: Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: doctors; elderly; patients

1 posted on 11/28/2011 9:19:18 AM PST by yorkie
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To: yorkie
Never forget

“We’ve got to educate the American people at the same time we educate the President of the United States. The Republicans, Speaker Boehner or Majority Leader Cantor did not call for Social Security cuts in the budget deal. The President of the United States called for that,

-John Conyers July 27th 2011

Conyers on Jobs: “We’ve Had It.” Lays Out Obama, Calls for Protest at White House
2 posted on 11/28/2011 9:23:31 AM PST by cripplecreek (Stand with courage or shut up and do as you're told.)
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To: yorkie
If course they threaten to cut Medicare rather than trim any of the real waste.
This is blackmail to make us go along with more taxes. Nothing more.

3 posted on 11/28/2011 9:23:45 AM PST by BitWielder1 (Corporate Profits are better than Government Waste)
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To: BitWielder1
"If course they threaten to cut Medicare rather than trim any of the real waste."

Oh, they aren't cutting Medicare benefits, they aren't going to pay health care providers to provide the benefits. This way they can say they didn't "touch grandma's medicare benefits" even though grandma can't find a doctor willing to treat her.

4 posted on 11/28/2011 9:32:55 AM PST by circlecity
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To: BitWielder1

Medicare IS the “real waste”.


5 posted on 11/28/2011 9:33:45 AM PST by babble-on
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To: yorkie

The difference from any Medicare or Medicaid “cuts” will be passed on by increasing the rates or those who actually pay — the Insured.


6 posted on 11/28/2011 9:34:19 AM PST by rbg81
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To: yorkie

Doctors make more money in this country BY FAR than anywhere else in the world, with no superior outcomes. So far, everyone has died except for those still living, and even they are expected to do no better.


7 posted on 11/28/2011 9:39:26 AM PST by babble-on
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To: yorkie; GailA

My late husband was an officer in the USMC - and retired after serving our Country for 28 years. Therefore, I have “Tri Care For Life”, which is my supplemental insurance with Medicare.

BUT - what good is a supplemental ‘insurance’, when they do not reimburse the pharmacies that represent them? Starting Jan 1, Walgreens will no longer accept TCFL as a supplemental insurance. I fear this is just the beginning.


8 posted on 11/28/2011 9:44:31 AM PST by yorkie
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To: babble-on

Do you have a link to support that statement?


9 posted on 11/28/2011 9:45:45 AM PST by yorkie
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To: yorkie

Cutting MEDICARE - but not MEDICAID

hmmm, is there an agenda here?


10 posted on 11/28/2011 9:56:55 AM PST by silverleaf (common sense is not so common- voltaire)
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To: yorkie

http://www.worldsalaries.org/generalphysician.shtml

here’s one. there’s no shortage of them. US doctors in some specialties make as much as four times what similarly trained doctors in German earn, and the culprit is the Medicare reimbursement schedules.

This year, for a Christmas present to America, Congress should not fix the “Doctor Fix”


11 posted on 11/28/2011 10:01:47 AM PST by babble-on
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To: yorkie
"About 70 percent of the patients that come through our door rely on Medicare or Medicaid," Dr. Strudwick says

47 million on Medicare and 60 million on Medicaid. Once Obamacare goes into effect, we will add another 18 million to Medicaid. And with 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day for the next 20 years doubling our population over 65 so that one in every five of our population will be 65 or older by 2030, does anyone think we can afford these programs. By 2030 there will be two workers for every retiree.

12 posted on 11/28/2011 10:07:17 AM PST by kabar
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To: BitWielder1

Medicare recipients receive three times what they contributed into the program. With our population of Medicare beneficiaries expected to double in the next 20 years, how can such programs be sustained without major changes?


13 posted on 11/28/2011 10:10:21 AM PST by kabar
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To: babble-on
Doctors who serve Medicare patients are facing a 27.4 percent cut in payments beginning Jan. 1 unless Congress acts to create a "patch" to the 1990s-era calculation for determining the value of medical services.

Surveys have shown that many physicians would consider not taking new Medicare patients if the cuts go through. Some primary care doctors are going into "concierge medicine," limiting their practice to patients able to pay a fee of about $1,500 a year, a trend that worries advocates for the elderly.

Do you really believe that forcing doctor's to take a 27.4 percent cut in Medicare payments will not have any impact on Medicare patients and access to care? Hospitals will also be affected.

14 posted on 11/28/2011 10:18:49 AM PST by kabar
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To: kabar

The reason the cut is so large is because of the accumulation of such “patches” which have rendered moot that attempt to rein in the growth in physician payments.

Here’s what I think: Since the Medicare scales set the standard for private insurance reimbursement rates, that doctors who refuse to treat patients under those remuneration schedules will cease to be doctors at all. They will have no patients, and will need to get another job. I doubt that they will do so.

If you want to rein in the deficits, doctors are going to have to take a cut, that’s all there is to it. Could share the pain with the lawyers by executing on tort reform.


15 posted on 11/28/2011 10:31:57 AM PST by babble-on
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To: babble-on; kabar
Medicare IS the “real waste”.

I stand corrected. It's not sustainable.
There are other big wastes but this one has one of the biggest boohoo factors.

16 posted on 11/28/2011 10:37:00 AM PST by BitWielder1 (Corporate Profits are better than Government Waste)
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To: yorkie

Just opened this chain e-mail - thought this might be a good thread for it.

Wages

Salary of retired US Presidents .........$450,000 FOR LIFE
Salary of House/Senate members ..........$174,000 FOR LIFE
Salary of Speaker of the House ..........$223,500 FOR LIFE
Salary of Majority/Minority Leaders......$193,400 FOR LIFE

Average salary of a soldier DEPLOYED IN AFGHANISTAN - $38,000

Average income for seniors on SOCIAL SECURITY - $12,000*

I think we found where the cuts should be made! If you agree... Pass it on!
*The President says we may have to cut Social Security??


17 posted on 11/28/2011 11:29:14 AM PST by sodpoodle ( Gingrich-Cain 2012)
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To: babble-on
Here’s what I think: Since the Medicare scales set the standard for private insurance reimbursement rates, that doctors who refuse to treat patients under those remuneration schedules will cease to be doctors at all. They will have no patients, and will need to get another job. I doubt that they will do so.

You are jack-boot, Big Government socialist who wants to dictate behavior. If I am a doctor who is losing on every Medicare case I treat, then there is no way I put myself out of business by going bankrupt. I guess the other alternative is to raise the rates on those not covered by Medicare. FYI: 45% of doctors don't accept Medicaid patients because its reimbursement rate is even less than Medicaid. The government is the one responsible for screwing up our health care system. We would be much better letting the market work and turning Medicare and Medicaid into premium support systems.

If you want to rein in the deficits, doctors are going to have to take a cut, that’s all there is to it. Could share the pain with the lawyers by executing on tort reform.

Yeah right you Socialist b#astard. Let's redistribute the wealth and force the doctors to treat patients they lose money on.

18 posted on 11/28/2011 11:46:57 AM PST by kabar
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To: kabar

Wait, you think that because I want to reduce government payments to doctors that I am a Socialist??? You do realize that Medicare is a government program right? One that’s facing a massive and unsustainable deficit? And yet trying to cut that deficit by reducing the government wages paid to a blatantly overpaid professional class makes ME a Socialist? Your twisted logic shows the corruption of your class.


19 posted on 11/28/2011 3:22:35 PM PST by babble-on
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To: babble-on
Since the Medicare scales set the standard for private insurance reimbursement rates, that doctors who refuse to treat patients under those remuneration schedules will cease to be doctors at all. They will have no patients, and will need to get another job. I doubt that they will do so.

You seem to believe that doctors who refuse to treat Medicare patients will cease to be doctors. 12% of doctors today refuse to treat Medicare patients because they believe the reimbursement rate doesn't cover their costs. They are still in business. 45% of doctors don't accept Medicaid patients because they believe the reimbursement rate is too low. Each patient costs them money.

So the solution is to now cut the Medicare reimbursement rates by 27%? You seem to share the same reasoning as the factory owner when told he was losing 5 cents a widget replies, "Don't worry, I'll make it up in volume."

What we will wind up with is fewer doctors for Medicare patients and a parallel system for the more affluent just like they have in the UK and its National Health Service. Something similar exists in Germany. Canada forces all doctors into its system. You are the socialist who doesn't understand how the market works. You seem to be under the illusion that Medicare can reduce its payments by any amount it decides to keep the system solvent. It is rationing, but it won't work given the rapidly growing medical costs and an aging society. Medicare represents an unfunded liabilty of $35 trillion over a 75 year period and over $70 trillion indefinitely. Trying to shift costs to the doctors and hospitals will not work and won't make the program solvent.

The HI Trust Fund which funds Part A started cashing in its IOUs in 2008 to make up funding shortfalls. In actuality, this means the General Fund must come up with the difference. The costs of Medicare Parts B and D (SMI) are funded by only 25% with the premiums. The remaining 75% comes from the General Fund, by law. In 2011 Medicare Parts B and D will spend $295 billion (75% of which comes from the General Fund) compared to the $263 billion in Medicare Part A. Currently, Medicare claims about 11 percent of federal nonentitlement tax dollars.

You seem to be spouting the same nonsense of the Left, which believes that by taxing the rich, we can pay for the welfare state. The entitlement programs must be fundamentally reformed or they will bankrupt us.

20 posted on 11/28/2011 4:07:56 PM PST by kabar
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To: sodpoodle

Even if you cut Obama’s salary in half and that of all of the reps, it would still be paying them more than they are worth.

I second the motion!


21 posted on 11/28/2011 4:17:28 PM PST by XenaLee (The only good commie is a dead commie.)
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To: yorkie

Without reform entitlements will destroy this country. Either raise taxes to pay for them, cut benefits or a combo of the two. Pick your poison.

22 posted on 11/28/2011 5:15:31 PM PST by KantianBurke (Where was the Tea Party when Dubya was spending like a drunken sailor?)
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To: BitWielder1
what this will mean is layoffs of nurses, therapists...perhaps now you'll get your phy therapy every two days instead of once or twice a day...they infact already cut the nunber of pts they can see in a day based not on drs orders but on how much staff they have...

this is what the American people want and they're going to get it good and hard....

I'd like to see what the UAW would do if big daddy decided to only pay them for part of their work, not all....

23 posted on 11/28/2011 7:41:50 PM PST by cherry
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