The Doc Fix Is In


The temporary "doc fix" I noted earlier today isn't much of a fix at all. Instead, it's "a face-saving gimmick that makes it look like Congress is sticking to Medicare cost controls when it isn't."

The Medicare "doc fix" is back in play on Capitol Hill, and its mere mention provokes a torrent of scorn and vitriol rarely seen among the generally mild-mannered community of policy mavens who inhabit the nation's think tanks and universities.

"It's one of the worst pieces of legislation I've ever seen," said Stuart Altman, a former adviser to Congress on Medicare who now teaches health policy at Brandeis University. "I don't think I've ever felt so vindictive about a piece of legislation in my life."

"It's a charade," said Henry J. Aaron, a health policy analyst at the Brookings Institution. "Congress takes care of things but doesn't actually do anything. They haven't been willing to write up the full cost of changing the system, so the projected deficits don't look as bad as they are."

Full story at Politico.