The (Doctor) Fix is In


"You have created a monster, and it will destroy you!"

From Politico:

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the House plan to prevent cuts to doctors' Medicare reimbursement rates would cost $210 billion over 10 years, according to a just released analysis.

The big price tag is no surprise and was the main reason House Democrats introduced the so-called "doc fix" legislation separately from their $1.2 trillion reform bill—Dems were trying to keep the cost of the reform bill as close to President Obama's target of $900 billion as possible.

I've heard the argument that removing this provision from the larger health-care legislation, as House Democrats did, isn't really a cheat (or at least not one that matters) because the doctor fix doesn't have anything to do with the rest of what's in the health-care reform bills. That's strictly true, but I also think it was in the original House bill for a reason: It's the offering Democrats are using to buy the support of doctors, who don't want to see their Medicare reimbursements cut. By putting it in the original bill, I think Democrats signaled pretty clearly that they think the two are related—but now that CBO-certified deficit neutrality has become their major concern, they're trying to back away.

NEXT: A Politically Charged Lightning Rod

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  1. So what does Michal Steele think about this development?

  2. By putting it in the original bill, I think Democrats signaled pretty clearly that they think the two are related…

    If they needed Congressman John Doe’s support to pass it, the healthcare bill would include federal funds for a light rail system for his district. Congress can rationalize adding or excluding anything from their legislation.

  3. The politicians have never fully enacted any of the physian and hospital rate reductions (read reduced increases) that were supposed to legally binding from the Balanced Budget Act of 1996.
    Once the hospital associations, hospital worker unions and physician groups start yelling the politicians fold like a cheap suit.

  4. To my horror, I can’t find a video of the Entombed song “The fix is in”. MARKET FAILURE

  5. Suderman, meet <STRIKE> tag. <STRIKE> tag, meet Suderman. I hope this is the beginning of a less annoying beautiful friendship.


    In libertopia, there are no Entombed records after Left Hand Path. Your fruitless search is the only sign ever that we may be on our way there.


  7. I think there is a push to desensitize the public to absurdly large numbers preceded by a $.

  8. We are calling on doctors to be prepared to go on strike against more government-run health care.

    Doctors need to let the country know – now – that if the President signs any legislation that establishes another government health care plan, they will “go on strike”:

    Doctors should refuse to participate in any new government health care plan, and

    Doctors should resign from all government health care programs, including, but not limited to Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, and SCHIP.

    The hope is that the peremptory promise of a doctors’ strike would mobilize enough public opinion to persuade our lawmakers to vote against the so-called public option. If the public knew in advance that doctors were planning to strike, elected officials might be flooded with calls, emails, and letters from their constituents. Widespread knowledge of an impending doctors’ strike is critical to mobilize groups to act to protect their interests.

    The message for the country is this: The Atlases of health care, who take at least 12 years ? and often more ? of their lives to learn how to save your lives, absolutely refuse to shoulder any more government control over our practices.

    Enough is enough!

    This time we are finally drawing a line in the sand.

    If Congress and the Administration cross it, we are fully prepared and firmly resolved to shrug and unburden ourselves of the unbearable weight that government regulations impose on us.

    When the dust settles, Doctors and patients might then champion a new ethic of voluntary trade to govern their relationships in a free market ? “The Traders Oath,” inspired by John Galt, the hero in Ayn Rand’s best selling novel, Atlas Shrugged:

    “I swear by my life, and my love of it, that as a doctor, as a patient, as a human being, I will forever defend the right of every doctor, every patient, every human being
    to be treated as a trader among traders, not a slave under masters, nor a master over slaves.”

    Dr. Gregory Garamoni
    Doctors on Strike for Freedom in Medicine

  9. I realize Suderman is probably too young to have heard UFO, but this post really should have had a headline from these song lyrics.

  10. @hmm – yes,desensitize the masses to large numbers – like a massive bowel movement, or something similar but invasive, which is apropo per the tax payer in this instance.
    After all…
    One trillion isn’t that much when your taking a dump.

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