Sunday, November 20, 2005

Republicans' Plan to Cut Medicare Funding Squeezes Doctors

It appears that Illinois doctors might need to take their attention off of Springfield and spend a little more time worrying about Washington.

While doctors were busy marching on Springfield, the Bush administration was busy drafting plans to cut Medicare reimbursement rates for doctors by 4.4%, according to the NY Times:
The Bush administration is headed for a clash with the nation's doctors over a federal plan to cut their Medicare fees by 4.4 percent next year, even as the government tries to measure the quality of care they provide...
...Medicare's trustees said the formula would produce cuts totaling roughly 25 percent from 2006 to 2011, while doctors' costs are expected to rise 15 percent."
But the Administration says not to worry, the cuts will encourage doctors to practice not defensive medicine, but offensive medicine, performing procedures they wouldn't normally perform so they can bill Medicare more:
"Moreover, they (the Administration) said, doctors often respond to such cuts by performing more services, so their income does not necessarily fall."
Meanwhile, the AP reports that one doctor in rural North Dakota is being paid in jelly. I'm not kidding.

So, someone remind me again what's wrong with Dr. Quentin Young's plan to provide coverage for every man, woman and child in America for a fraction of what we are paying now?


Blogger AntiLabel said...


What is your opinion about education vouchers?

11:14 AM  
Blogger Yellow Dog Democrat said...

Aside from the fact that your post is completely off topic?

I don't have a problem with vouchers per se, but I think we need to fully fund public education first.

In this era of increased accountability, I do think there should be some increased attention given to ensuring that with public monies come widely accepted public standards.

12:23 PM  
Blogger AntiLabel said...

I'm not 100% sure about your "standards" point, but I believe you are saying that if someone takes their publicly provided education voucher and gives it to a private scool, the education that they receive may not meet "widely accepted public standards"?

4:51 PM  
Blogger Yellow Dog Democrat said...

antilabel -

I'm concerned that private institutions may not meet widely held standards when it comes to things like non-discrimination against the disabled. I'm also concerned that curricula may not meet widely-held academic standards.

After all, we wouldn't want to see tax dollars being used to teach our children that The Holocaust never happened, would we?

7:07 PM  
Blogger AntiLabel said...

Even though you don't have a problem with vouchers "per se", you have identified that if we hand a bunch of public money to the private sector, we lose accountability.

In addition, generally, the private sector is in business for profit, so hiring the private sector to do a public service is more expensive.

Here is why my initial post was not off topic.

Back a couple of hundred years ago, when we decided that we needed public education, we didn't just shovel public money to the existing private schools. We set up a true "public" education system.

I am starting to agree that, perhaps, we do need publicly provided health care. Yet, for the above reasons, I don't think that we should subcontract with the private sector.

If we want public health care, we need to set up a true public health care system. It will be less costly in the long run and will allow for accountability.

7:50 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home