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.

NEXT: "If you think like us..." - A Missive from Friends of the Earth

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  1. Wow, this is like businesses cooking the books, which never happens, of course. Ah, if only entrepreneurs ran everything with no government interefence. The state would wither away…wait, wrong utopian fantasy. Racist discriminators would be punished by the market!

    1. Without the words “market fundamentalist” or “fuck”, I’m afraid I can’t follow what you are saying.

    2. Businesses cooking the books get put in jail and go out of business. And the government?

      I guess Max just really likes cooking the books, since he doesn’t want it to be punished.

  2. Go suck Ron Paul’s cock, asshole.

    1. Dude, it’s Rand Paul, now. Hating on Ron Paul is so 2008.

      1. Edward isn’t known for his keen sense of style.

        1. No, no, he can learn. He just insulted both Ron and Rand in another thread. I’m so proud.

        2. He makes me tingle all over!

    2. TIPS:
      * Don’t tell people you are acting like Fleur, or they will think less of you.

      * Don’t commonly mention Harry Potter, or Harry Potter terms. People will start to suss you out.

      * Read Harry Potter. No sense being a character you know nothing about!

      * Pronounce words a bit differently than other people. For example: Possible = poh-ssi-bl. The = ze. Ridiculous = ree-dik-u-los.

      * Fleur can defend herself if insulted, so make sure you stand up for yourself.


      * If anyone asks you if you are acting like Fleur, deny it. They will tease you and make fun of you, and that’s not very nice.

      * This guide is not meant for long-term use. Unless you want to be Fleur 24/7.

      * Do not force yourself to like boys! Fleur couldn’t care a thing about Bill when she was 11, and neither should you.

      * Sometimes Fleur offends people by accident (e.g. saying Mrs Weasley’s favorite singer was bad). Try to be polite.

      1. I just googled this and man, what the fuck. Wikihow has some of the dumbest articles. I feel embarrassed just reading it.

  3. (1) Government should act in such a way as to match the least ethical and/or most criminal aspects of bad actors in the private sector?

    (2) The power of government had nothing to do with institutionalizing racism?

    (3) The check on government power is, exactly, what?

    1. (1) So why don’t all governments become Nazi Germany?

      (2) Is Swedish social democarcy the same as Soviet communism?

      (3) Do have a fucking brain?

      1. Oh, Max, you used to be a trollish power. Now you can’t even stay on topic. I, for one, am disappointed.

        You should go to Greece and release your rage. It’s a little hot this time of year, but there’s plenty of things to do and see in between explosions of righteous hate against business.

        1. My God, you’re even stupider than I thought.

          1. Oh, you have no idea. I’m actually illiterate and can only post semi-intelligibly thanks to the Google Translator.

            1. Then…you’re Edward?

              1. Only when I use the French translation.

            2. Btw, I’ve allready warned your buddys over at Urkobold about taking down my name & quotes. You won’t get a second waarning.

              1. It’s like old times, man. We’ve missed you!

                1. Fortunatly for you and your cronies my gaze has been cast elsewhere. Not any more. Remove my quotes or face legal consequenses.

                  1. Maxie, I’m ready for my close-up.

                  2. ooh! Eddie! I’ve missed you so much!

                    could you please send another head shot – i’ve managed to soil the original one you sent so many times (the noam chomsky blow up doll just loves being dressed up as you!!!)

                    it just got soiled one time too many. sigh.

                2. Speak for yourself.

      2. (1) So why don’t all governments become Nazi Germany?

        Because there are citizens who stop that from happening and who don’t embrace every crackpot “it’s for the greater good” program.

        (2) Is Swedish social democarcy the same as Soviet communism?

        Not sure what “democarcy” is, but no, it’s not the same, even if it’s “democracy” (which, by the way, is not what they have in Sweden). I missed the execution of millions of Swedes and their forced relocation to collectives, but in my defense, I haven’t been paying much attention to Swedish news.

        (3) Do have a fucking brain?

        Sorry, your question must have a subject to be valid. Unless it was meant to be a command. Otherwise, the only things missing are the word “I” from your question and the well supported by your above comments answer to it: “No”.

      3. “(3) Do have a fucking brain?”


        1. A Max Classic.

      4. (1) There are lots of types of evil and corruption to chose from. Why stick with what’s been done to death?

        (2) Not yet. If it doesn’t get there, it will only be because it met the same fate.

        (3) Are you calling me a zombie? That’s racist!

  4. Hey, anyone want to talk about the Koreas? Sounds like there’s at least some chance that the North plans to provoke a war this time.

    1. Draft the trolls. They love government so much I’m sure they wouldn’t mind dying for it.

      1. I’m too swamped today to follow the news, but so far I’ve seen headlines saying that diplomatic relations have been severed by the North and that the North has told its forces to prepare for war. Maybe the usual North Korean b.s., but maybe not this time. Very scary if they’re serious.

        1. There was a sub-thread about this in the morning links, IIRC. From this article, it appears that we could get dragged into a conflict if it comes to that.

          “U.S. President Barack Obama has directed military commanders to work with South Korean troops “to ensure readiness and to deter future aggression” from North Korea.”

          1. To be honest, I’m not sure we have much choice. We’re sitting on an intentional tripwire over there with what, 50,000 troops? It’s got automatic war written all over it.

            1. Draft the trolls.

              Can’t we use them as trebuchet projectiles instead?

              1. They would probably be more effective as counter-weights.

          2. The US has no choice in the matter. To fail to aid South Korea would violate a host of treaties and commitments made over the years.

            That’s why the troops are there.

            Of course, South Korea is not the only welfare bludger on the US defense dole. Since 1945 our defense budget has been at least three times what it needed to be because noone wanted to pay for their own defense. That and the fact that no one wanted to see Germany and Japan rearmed.

    2. If Obama tries to intermediate, we’ll probably end up with World War III.

      1. You know, it might get tempting to take a preemptive shot to stop Seoul from getting wiped out by artillery and to stop any nuclear attack. By doing that, it’s possible that China might decide to escalate things.

        All this remains highly unlikely, but it’s a reminder that a major war might not be as far away as we like to think.

      2. If Obama tries to intermediate, we’ll probably end up with World War III he’ll probably end up siding with NK.

  5. But naughty jokes about Mohammad are deleted post-haste.

    1. Sugarfree has been marked for deletion.

  6. He made His point.

  7. This is what happens when the government decides to impose wage and price controls. It costs us a certain amount to provide medical services. We then tack on our salary, as well as those costs associated with maintaining a facility, having a support staff, etc. If what the government mandates that we receive doesn’t meet the above, it creates an incentive to not treat Medicare patients. It doesn’t force us to cut costs. Sorry guys, but I can go get another job if I’m going to make $60,000 a year. A lot less headache, a lot less b.s., and I don’t have to live every day wondering if I’ll get sued tomorrow. It costs 200k to go to most medical schools now. Is it worth that cost if you aren’t going to make a high salary? Especially if you’re now treated like a glorified pill dispenser for “customers” who used to be patients?

    1. But Contrarian, we are supposed to work for free! Don’t you get it? There is a moral entitlement to our services!

      We should get paid in the form of a bowl of rice a day. And if we’re real good, we may get a teaspoon of honey in our rice!

      1. How long before we, the people, enslave doctors to ensure free service?

        1. You’re getting there!

        2. How long before we, the people, enslave doctors to ensure free service

          We’re working on it.

  8. Anybody who thought that Obama wasn’t cooking the books must have been on some serious drugs.

    1. I know several people that think he wasn’t cooking the books. It’s not so much drugs as love being blind.

  9. “It’s one of the worst pieces of legislation I’ve ever seen,”

    Eventually, you’ll grow weary of saying that EVERY FUCKING DAY.

  10. Draft the trolls. They love government so much I’m sure they wouldn’t mind dying for it.

    Tony is all about the goose-stepping. Send him.

    1. I may not be a big fan of metal, but I alway like your topical youtube posts. I’m beginning to realize that any topic can be expressed better with metal. Kinda like a current events condiment.

      1. If you aren’t banging your head these days, you aren’t paying enough attention.

        1. “This IS the news!”

  11. “It’s one of the worst pieces of legislation I’ve ever seen,” said Stuart Altman,

    Give it a few weeks, Stuart. Wait ’til you see our financial reforms!

  12. so whats with Reason? seems to be turning light with this little tiny piece about nothing in particular.
    really. where is the substance?

  13. really. where is the substance?

    Well, whaddaya know; it’s that time, again.

  14. “”It’s a charade,” said Henry J. Aaron”

    I watched it on the TV when he broke Babe Ruth’s record. Everyone says he was a really nice guy, too.

    1. I saw that live on TV, too! I was a Braves fan (still am, though I’m splitting time with the local team, which, fortunately is in the AL) and turned it on just a few minutes before he hit it. I was young enough that I don’t think I knew he was chasing the record until he hit the danged thing.

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