Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
President Obama has received more criticism than any other president because he is shiftier than most other presidents have been.
It is getting harder to know what is going on because political strategy opposing taxpayers’ interests is formulated in secret.
It intensifies as the traditional media provides cover because of its bias. We miss traditional media sloppiness because we live in a sound bite society.
President Obama promised the AMA he would wipe out the accumulating decrease in physician reimbursement. The 23% is a result of yearly congressional postponements.
President Obama counted the savings resulting from this decrease in physician reimbursement in his cost estimated. He also promised the AMA a permanent fix to the Medicare payment formula. The AMA supported President Obama’s healthcare reform act because of this promise.
President Obama also promised that he would not sign a health-care bill that “adds one dime to our deficits, either now or in the future, period.”
The deficit neutral promise was never plausible. The Democrats’ strategy was to make President Obama’s healthcare reform plan “deficit neutral” by moving the $250 billion dollars in physician reimbursement off the healthcare reform act’s accounting books.
The House of Representatives’ passage of H.R. 3961 wiped out the accumulated Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) debt off the books. The problem was the Senate had to pass the bill also. The Senate did not buy the trick.
Majority Leader Harry Reid explained the maneuver away at a press conference.
Senate Democrats strategy was to vote on a stand-alone bill that strips the SGR formula out of President Obama’s healthcare reform bill. The government then makes an unfunded addition to the increase deficit created.
President Obama has made serial promises that cannot be honored. Rather than include the pricey $247 billion plan known on Capitol Hill as the “doc fix” as part of ObamaCare, they’ll instead make this a separate contribution to the deficit, without compensating tax increases or spending cuts.”
Wiping the slate is right.”
The Senate voted again to postpone the automatic, accumulating 23% cut in Medicare physician payments, but only through New Year’s Day. A house vote rapidly complied.
Democrats left a permanent fix out of the final ObamaCare bill in order to keep the official price tag below $1 trillion.
Democrats planned to pass the $250 billion "doc fix" later in a separate bill, but somehow they never got around to it. Even liberals cannot always conjure up a quarter-trillion dollars on demand.
President Obama deceived the AMA about the doc fix. President Obama is now deceiving voters about how he will pay for the fix.
Maybe President Obama should concentrate on fixing the healthcare system by doing a few simple things like increasing patient responsibility, decreasing the healthcare insurance industry’s abuse of the system by loading benefit expenses and institute malpractice reform to decrease defensive medicine. He should put patients in control of their healthcare dollars rather than making them more dependent on government and building a bigger bureaucracy.
Instead, he is concentrating on destroying the medical care work force.
I received this note today that says it all about government taking care of us.
Below is a note by a young physician to President Obama. His short two-paragraph letter to the White House accurately puts the blame on a "Culture Crisis" instead of a "Health Care Crisis.” It is worth a quick read:
Dear Mr. President:
During my shift in the Emergency Room last night, I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient whose smile revealed an expensive shiny gold tooth, whose body was adorned with a wide assortment of elaborate and costly tattoos, who wore a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and who chatted on a new cellular telephone equipped with a popular R&B ringtone.
While glancing over her patient chart, I happened to notice that her payer status was listed as "Medicaid"! During my examination of her, the patient informed me that she smokes more than one costly pack of cigarettes every day and somehow still has money to buy pretzels and beer.
And, you and our Congress expect me to pay for this woman’s health care? I contend that our nation’s "health care crisis" is not the result of a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors, or nurses. Rather, it is the result of a "crisis of culture", a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on luxuries and vices while refusing to take care of one’s self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance. It is a culture based in the irresponsible credo that "I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me.”
Once you fix this "culture crisis" that rewards irresponsibility and dependency, you will be amazed at how quickly our nation’s health care difficulties will disappear.
There you have it.