Congressional Democrats Oppose Cuts in Health Provider Payments, Except the Ones They Already Voted For


Don't make those cuts. That's our job.

When prominent Democratic politicians like Rep. Henry Waxman, House Minority Leader Nancy, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Sen. Max Baucus voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act last year, they voted to fund roughly half of the law's $940 billion price tag through cuts to Medicare. More than $200 billion of those cuts don't come through any attempt to reform the way Medicare works; instead, they're quality-blind reductions in the reimbursement rates that the government pays health care providers.

By voting for the law, they also voted to require states to maintain existing eligibility within Medicaid, the joint federal-state health program that's currently the number one total budget item across state budgets. Faced with massive budget deficits, then, states that might otherwise have adjusted Medicaid's eligibility rules had little choice but to cut provider payments.

And now those same Democratic leaders who voted to cut provider rates within Medicare have signed a letter supporting the right of Medicaid patients and health service providers in California to push state courts to block cuts in Medicaid payments. The New York Times reports:

The Democratic leaders said Medicaid beneficiaries must be allowed to file suit to enforce their right to care — and to challenge Medicaid cuts being made by states around the country.

The Obama administration maintains that beneficiaries and health care providers cannot sue state officials to challenge cuts in Medicaid payment rates, even if such cuts compromise access to care for the poor.

In a friend-of-the-court brief, the lawmakers said the administration's position "would undermine the effectiveness of Medicaid." In addition, they said, it conflicts with more than a century of court precedents that allow people to sue to block state actions that are inconsistent with federal law.

Last week's debt deal calls for further reductions in Medicare provider rates should the super committee assigned to come up with a deficit reduction package fail.

Link via Cato's Michael Cannon.

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  1. Why is there a picture of the Crypt-Keeper and a giant, ambulatory penis with glasses accompanying this article…?

    1. He is a mole-man, a representative from a civilization that dwells under the Earth, in complete darkness, with only their enormous nostrils to help guide them, and a vicious set of teeth that never stop growing as only as they live.

      1. Label the teeth “US Government” and your 80% done with Chip Bok’s next submission.

      2. I can’t believe he can pass as human. He makes Joseph Merrick look normal.

        1. Could you imagine what could of fucked up stuff the TSA would see if he had to go through Rapi-scan like the little people do?

          1. No, and if I tried, it would most likely drive me mad. Waxman’s hideousness is positively Lovecraftian. He could be one of the more mutated denizens of Innsmouth. Dagon must be proud.

            1. I have this feeling that the Waxman we see is just what can be projected into our dimension, what our brains can understand.

              If you could see the whole Waxman, it would feel like someone running a cheesegrater over your soul.

              1. Yeah, kinda like the string-notion that gravity ‘leaks’ from the nth dimension, explaining why its so weak over in these parts.

                And Waxman is like that, such a tiny little creature (look at the pic, he’s smaller than that tiny twisted chupacabra he’s standing next to, just a tiny little pathetic shit), but he still drags everything down.

                1. …the string-notion that gravity ‘leaks’ from the nth dimension, explaining why its so weak over in these parts.

                  Actually, I think it (gravity) being a side effect of EM is more likely. String theory is way too much math, not enough science, imo.

                  1. I think string theory is bullshit too. Its like playing Dungeons and Dragons with dimensions in lieu of dice. ‘Lets roll for more powers!’

                    Which makes it’s notion of gravity ever-more like the Wax-thing.

                    1. I think string theory is bullshit too. Its like playing Dungeons and Dragons with dimensions in lieu of dice. ‘Lets roll for more powers!’

                      My wife, the Science Nerdess, howled with delight at this. +100. 😉

  2. I’m so desensitized to hypocrisy at this point, I can’t muster more than a ho hum.

    1. Another success!

  3. Waxman looks like he pulls his nose back with Scotch tape.

    1. Seriously, he is a dog in a rat suit.

      1. He’s got a face that could stop a clock.

  4. Medicaid, the joint federal-state health program that’s currently the number one total budget item across state budgets.

    Does anybody have a clue where the money goes?

    I’m thinking of some derivative of the 80/20 rule, here; are twenty per cent of the beneficiaries sucking up eighty per cent of the costs?

    And, as always, I wonder why we as a country pay so much for completely ineffective (if not harmful) treatments. If you want to bend the cost curve” stop paying doctors for treatments which fail.

    One anecdote: a friend of mine who injured his hand had to have it operated on twice. The second operation was an attempt to fix the first doctor’s fuck-ups.

    1. I’m guessing that it has something to do with not knowing the procedure was ineffective until afterwards, by then you still got the bill.

    2. Medicaid spending per product category:


  5. Crusty old wrinkle-bucket strains for relevance:


    1. Damn, she’s looking worse than Hef these days.


  6. quality-blind reductions in the reimbursement rates that the government pays health care providers.


  7. Show of hands: Who thinks those two have hooked up?

    1. Fuck that thought.

    2. You just equaled one of NutraSweet’s stories with a mere fraction of the work. Congratulations.

      1. You have no appreciation for the craft.

        1. But I do have an appreciation for efficiency.

    3. Waxman couldn’t handle the size of Nancy’s penis.

    4. You sir, disgust me for even imagining such a horrible, abominable, stomach-turning event.

    5. Really, anything goes here but you should be banned for that one.

      Shameful, just shameful…..

  8. I keep seeing the woman in the background as having a gun pointed at those two. Wishful thinking I guess.

    1. Damn, you’re right. It looks like she’s pointing a Glock at that ugly one on the left.

    2. It *does* look like that. Funny observation. 🙂

  9. Tweedle-Dumb & Tweedle-Dipshit.

  10. House Minority Leader Nancy

    She’s so “prominent” she goes by one name now?

    1. Ma’am!

    2. Isn’t that usually reserved for Brazilian soccer players?

      Of course mentioning Brazilian and Pelosi in the same post ought to be illegal.

      1. The last time they tried to wax her, they couldn’t get the strips back off… she just stretched like warm mozzarella.

        1. You would do me.

          1. I already did.

  11. Hmm. The denial of the Medicaid waiver in California could really hurt the state’s budget. One of its gimmicks (assuming $4B in new revenues, and setting up trigger cuts in January if they’re not met) requires it, as at least some of the trigger cuts are supposed to come from Medi-Cal.

  12. Next thing you know OwlGore’s gonna yell “Bullshit!” and BarnyTheFrank’s gonna fart on national television.

    1. Now you’re just being silly.

  13. Why don’t they just go ahead and print off a quadrillion dollars and get this shooting match started already. Just give me time to invest in riot gear companies first. This slow slog into collapse is freakin’ torture.

    1. Why stop at a mere quadrillion?

      1. How much do they need to print to completely destroy the economy. Print that much and get it over with.

        1. In the posting I linked to above, I recommend borrowing (not printing) an infinite amount of money and immediately defaulting. Solves all possible problems in a world of problems.

          1. “borrowing (not printing) an infinite amount of money and immediately defaulting”

            sounds like a borges story

            1. If so, I’ll pay his estate once I get my infinite amount of money.

    2. Any fool knows the smart investment is in gold pressed latinum.


    1. Waxman is our only defense against Cthulu, as even Cthulu is horrified by his visage.

      1. Talk about the cure being worse than the disease. WAXMAN FHTAGN

  15. Doesn’t Rand Paul oppose cuts to the providers?

  16. Well, then they are hypocriticizers too!

  17. A Mendocino County woman who transformed her home into a bear bohemia with wading pools and specially prepared banquets of corn meal and peanut butter sandwiches will not do jail time for doting on her hairy friends, but she will remain exiled from her property.”

    [Lynne Gravier, 77], known to almost everyone as the “Bear Woman,” has been feeding bruins and other animals for decades, but nobody realized the extent of her devotion until neighbors began complaining. Last Aug. 24, seven fish and game wardens raided Gravier’s home. They stumbled on what was essentially an animal hippie commune and shack-out pad.

    In all 15 loafing black bears hung out with Gravier inside the house and on her deck, and lumbered around the compound like kings at a feast. Gravier named her oafish friends things like Smiley, Goofy, Connie, Biggie and Wombat. She admitted setting up a kiddie pool for wallowing. She fixed peanut butter sandwiches for her guests, sometimes mixing in glucosamine to ease the arthritis pain in older bears.


    1. “seven fish and game wardens raided Gravier’s home”

      First they come for the raw milk, then they come for the bears…

    2. Was she training the bears to be suicide-bombers? No? Then leave her the fuck alone.

      1. Shit, if she was training them to ride tiny bikes, I’ll send her some support money.

        1. If she was training them to ride full-size bikes and deliver packages, I’d send her to some venture capitalists.


      2. She was setting up a bear welfare state. When the inevitable end came to that can you imagine the rampage, the carnage of those bears. If only this had been in San Francisco – but thems is a different kind of bear there.

    3. This is what happens when you fail to give an old lady grand-kids.

      1. hummm…usually its katz or those hated yap-dogs. last time i ran over a yap dog its eyeballs popped-out outta the corpse


    1. That is so wrong.


  19. So I thought the bill was about “Coverage exanpansion first, cost control second”, right?

    It seems more like “cost control …. er… maybe sometime, eventually, when the economy collapses and we default on the national debt.”

    Cause if you can’t actually stick up for the cost control measure that you actually voted for, indeed, actively oppose them after the fact, then there is no “second”. You’re just not doing cost control, period.

    1. Pay no attention to the flim-flam artists behind the curtain.

    2. To Democrats, Cost Controls = Price Controls.

      Boy, that Medicare sure does cost a lot. Where’s my pen? Not anymore!

      1. Yeah, except that the reimbursement cuts they are opposing ARE price controls.

        So, it appears they aren’t even willing to actually enforce the price controls they themselves have imposed.

    3. Cause if you can’t actually stick up for the cost control measure that you actually voted for, indeed, actively oppose them after the fact, then there is no “second”. You’re just not doing cost control, period.

      So THAT’s why they have those hideous grins on their faces.

      1. So THAT’s why they have those hideous grins on their faces.

        No. The grins are from the smug satisfaction that they can do whatever they want and never face any consequences.

        1. They wouldn’t be grinning if the chick in the background really did have a Glock pointed at them.

  20. Deficits will never be stopped, becuase Democrats will never vote to cut spending on Medicaid, Medicare or Social Security, ever, by anyone, for any reason, don’t even think about it, keep your hands off it, period, full stop.

    David Hasselhoff will quit drinking before the Ds cut entitlements.

    1. social security doesnt contribute to the deficit

      1. It did this year. And it will again starting in 2016.

        (Intermediate assumption.)

        Denial is a wonderful coping mechanism.

  21. Dusk began to settle on Capitol Hill. Nancy slowly eased her pelvis off of Henry’s face. His small, beady eyes were beautiful in this light, and she could help but be incredibly aroused by their juxtaposition with her juices. She moved swiftly now, shimming down his body and impaling herself on his throbbing manhood. “Nancy!” he called out breathlessly, as his eyes rolled back in pleasure.

    To have Nancy Pelosi continue to ride him cowgirl style, please turn to page 52.

    For reverse cowgirl, please turn to page 114.

    1. D-

    2. If you’re going for believability you need more tentacles.

  22. I guess I’m not the only one who thinks Nancy looks excited that Henry finally asked her to the dance and Henry looks happy that she said yes.

    1. His right hand is all the way in.

  23. If California loses this, then states will have absolutely no flexibility to cut significant costs in medicaid post 2014 mandates and coverage expansion. The best they could do is get waivers to try Florida style HMO reforms. The only real resort will to drop out of the program entirely. I hope California loses.

  24. Democrats are horribly vulnerable to this; they proposed large Medicare cuts in HIPAA; and now they’re going to be hung on them. Not that this isn’t necessary, but the whole process is utterly fraudulent.

    1. They’ve already devised their way out….say that Paul Ryan and the Repubs want to end Medicare.

  25. life is unfair that you can not choose your born.at the same time,life is fair,how much you pay, how much you get.

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