Medicare has a ritual that's every bit as predictable as the president pardoning a Thanksgiving turkey. It's called the "doc fix," and it's a last-minute reprieve from scheduled cuts in reimbursement rates to physicians and other health-care practitioners who participate in the nation's health plan for seniors. The result is that Medicare's unfunded liability grows and more and more doctors leave the system because they know the day of reckoning is coming eventually.
Luckily there's a simple, short-term solution that will please doctors, argues Jeffrey A. Singer, a Phoenix surgeon. It's one that will introduce market prices, competition, and patient autonomy into a system lacking all those things.