Thursday, October 13, 2011

Save the Doctors, High Health Care Costs May Bring Cooperation, Lies About the Economy and Medicare, Medicare HMOs Improve

Joint Committee Handing Out Money to Physicians?

"The congressional 'super committee' charged with reducing U.S. budget deficits is considering tackling a measure that could make their job even harder by preventing a steep pay cut for Medicare doctors.  The bipartisan panel that has been tasked with finding at least $1.2 trillion in budget savings over 10 years has a 'strong interest' in taking up the doctor payment issue, sources familiar with panel discussions said on Wednesday.  But doing so would cost hundreds of billions of dollars and thus complicate deficit-reduction work."

I guess the lobbyists have been working a lot harder -- and making a whole lot more money -- than you and I.  However, we do need to understand that reductions to physician reimbursements could create access problems for the aged and disabled -- even long-scheduled reductions.  Any change should be well thought through -- as if that were possible today.

Joint Committee Facing Health Care Costs

"To succeed, the so-called 'super committee' will need all of its super powers, and then some.  To get a deal on reducing the deficit, it must leap across the chasm between the GOP stance of spending-cuts only and Democrats' insistence that revenue must be part of any deal in a single bound.  And, to get it done by Thanksgiving, it will have to move faster than a speeding bullet."

"However, one issue that's typically kryptonite in budget talks may provide the committee with a chance to save the day.  The rising cost of health care is squeezing the federal budget, making it a common enemy."

There may be opportunities to make serious progress to confront rising health care costs.  However, the economic and medical needs of our most vulnerable citizens -- the aged and the disabled -- must first and foremost be addressed.

The 7 Biggest Economic Lies

Here are some of the economic lies that affect the way people think and vote.  All are worthy of understanding, but here is a very quick summary.  Pay close attention to Lie #5 (Medicare and Medicaid Are Killing the Budget) and Lie #6 (Social Security Is a Ponzi Scheme).  It's worth 4:24 of your time.

Medicare HMOs Rewarded

"Nine Medicare Advantage plans scored top marks on the five-star government rating system for 2012, up from only three plans this year, according to new figures posted by Medicare Wednesday.  That's a small share of the 569 private Medicare plans, but it’s a laurel much of the industry is now chasing.  For the first time, Medicare plans will get big cash bonuses for higher scores, a new reward created by the 2010 federal health law. [emphasis added]"

"The star ratings are part of a push by the Obama administration to increase the quality of care provided by private plans that contract with Medicare.  The ratings are based on 36 measures, ranging from rates of hospital readmissions to the volume of consumer complaints a plan gets."

Many parts of Health Reform are beginning to pay off.  More savings, and rewards, will come in the future.

For Your Information

The Republican Reality-Free Zone


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