healthcare not working so well

So much irony in this (now unavailable) story, so little time. Where to begin?

After a week of wrangling, the Senate passed legislation to spare doctors a 21 percent cut in Medicare payments looming for months. But the leffort came too late. [...] That means doctors and nurse practitioners, physical therapists and other providers, who bill under Medicare's physician fee schedule, will be forced to re-submit their claims if they want to be reimbursed, with added paperwork costs for them and taxpayers.

Remember how Obamacare was going to be so efficient? This is just a taste of what is to come. Here, the result is that health providers get taxed, either 21% or the cost of dealing with more paperwork.

"Congress is playing Russian roulette with seniors' health care," said Dr. Cecil Wilson, president of the American Medical Association. "This is no way to run a major health coverage program."

Last time I heard, the AMA's position on government-run healthcare was slightly more positive. There's a name for people like Dr. Wilson: rube.

The bill delays the cuts until November—after the elections—when lawmakers hope the political climate is better for passing a more permanent and expensive solution.

All the more reason to throw them out in November and be done with it.

Vice President Joe Biden [...] blamed Republicans

Naturally. Blame the opposing party for the consequences of the failure of a government program. Everyone knows that in government-funded healthcare, congress provides the funding. When congress says "enough already," and people's expectations are dashed, the fault lies with the supporters of the program making promises they couldn't keep.

The political gridlock has angered doctors. The AMA says financial uncertainty may cause doctors to stop taking new Medicare patients, and others may drop the program altogether.

Poor doctors, they don't like government-controlled medicine now as much as they did a year ago. Even so, health care isn't free, and health providers aren't slaves. Until elected officials understand these basic facts and move to replace the current healthcare disaster with a free market, things aren't going to get better. In the meantime, the more doctors that draw attention to this egregious state of affairs by quitting Medicare, the better. How long before cash-only healthcare becomes normal?

Published Mon, Jun 21 2010 9:00 AM by Nathaniel
Filed under: