On Tuesday night, the U.S. Senate voted 78 to 19 to pass a bill that extends unemployment benefits and postpones a planned 21% cut in Medicare physician payments until April 1.
The passage of the bill came after Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) agreed to vote on the bill. He previously withheld unanimous consent on the grounds that the bill would increase the federal budget deficit without being paid for under recently-enacted pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) legislation which requires spending increases to be offset by funding.
Congress needs to act immediately to avoid deep Medicare cuts that are scheduled to take effect Monday, Mar. 1. Physicians are threatening to stop seeing patients. Boondoggle is an understatement. This is what we are in for with Obamacare .
CMS is the US federal agency which administers Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. It sets rates. What it will pay for, and how much it will pay and who it will pay.Without legislation for the most part. Like the upcoming Death Panel idea. Who can get what and when. This agency has been cutting benefits to seniors for the past years. Silently, only those in the healthcare field are aware of these cuts which has drastically effected Seniors. Physicians and Hospitals are losing money on these patients. Over 50 percent of all U.S. Hospitals are losing money. CMS via Medicare, denies 30 percent more claims than private Insurance companies. So if you think this is the solution, think again .http://www.cms.hhs.gov/ Now 600 Billion more is proposed to be cut from Medicare. Medicare is being gutted.
The 21% cuts to doctors’ compensation in the federal program would hinder senior citizens access to care and force physicians to consider turning away patients or dropping out of the program altogether.Congress has been postponed for the weekend, so an immediate reprieve is unlikely.
There’s widespread political support for blocking scheduled pay cuts to doctors. But doing so is expensive. So rather than get rid of the formula that keeps calling for the cuts — which would require Congress to acknowledge that the country is going to be on the hook for billions of dollars in additional Medicare costs — Congress keeps passing these short-term patches.
See our earlier post: Cardiologists sue for fee cuts of over 40 percent for a description of how the game is played.