Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Destruction of Medicare

I find it interesting to read through the Massachusetts Medical Society blog today regarding how Medicare has reduced its payments so much that physicians can barely cover their bill processing costs.

The blog starts with:

So far, more than 600 Massachusetts physicians and patients have signed on to the national Stop the Medicare Meltdown petition to Congress. Today, the Massachusetts Radiological Society threw its support to the petition.

Overall, more than 36,000 signatures have been recorded nationwide. To reach the goal of 1 million signatures by May 31, however, we need more doctors and even more patients to sign on. Share it with your colleagues today!

The comments that have been posted by Massachusetts physicians and patients are impressive. They profoundly underscore the importance of getting a permanent solution to the Medicare physician payment problem.

Here are just a few of them.

One physician states:

When reviewing my medical bills I am appalled by the reimbursement authorized by Medicare for doctors and hospitals. Many do not seem adequate to cover required paperwork expenses. Please fix Medicare by developing a rational Medicare physician payment system that automatically keeps up with the cost of running a practice and is backed by a fair, stable funding formula.

This is just the beginning. It is not that we did not warn the folks. The problems as we see them are:

1. Drastic reductions in Medicare will drive physicians out of practice to those who need it the most and who have already paid for the services.

2. The increase in taxes, including that on Medicare patients via dividend taxation, and the like, will further tax those who have the least, namely fixed income people.

3. The new "student loan" program for physicians will place the Government in the position of controlling where the new physicians will practice and thus drive quality out of the system.

And this is just the beginning. I saw a Tea Party rally today in Morristown, NJ, just sort of stumbled into it but I thought how coincidental, for this is where Washington started his final assault on the British who like our current controllers as depleting the Colonies of their money and freedom. Happy April 15th to all!