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September 25, 2009

A final push on health care...(tmi3rd)

Hi, folks. After crawling out from under the biology/organic chemistry rock for a few hours, I noticed some things happening in the world that I wanted to point out to you...

The Washington Times has an editorial that points out a couple of things in the Max Baucus Senate bill that are less than appealing.


The offending provision is on Pages 80-81 of the unamended Baucus bill, hidden amid a lot of similar legislative mumbo-jumbo about Medicare payments to doctors. The key sentence: "Beginning in 2015, payment would be reduced by five percent if an aggregation of the physician's resource use is at or above the 90th percentile of national utilization." Translated into plain English, it means that in any year in which a particular doctor's average per-patient Medicare costs are in the top 10 percent in the nation, the feds will cut the doctor's payments by 5 percent.

It speaks for itself... essentially, if you provide the amount of care that today's patients usually require (particularly if you're working in intensive care), you're going to get penalized for it. Under the bill, you're at the mercy of government accountants, plain and simple.

Biden and Emanuel have intimated that the current bill will get done in six weeks. Why six weeks?

Mickey Kaus says that it's because of the upcoming New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial races, which are currently projected to go Republican. At that point, he figures that most swing-state Congresscritters will be quite skittish about voting for a bill that they haven't read and won't be subject to public ridicule.

The disapproval of the health care bills is no longer defining the news cycle the way it was, which seems largely what the folks pushing it were hoping for. So, it seems that senators need to be reminded about what they're up against. Particularly if you live in places like Montana, Arkansas, Nevada, Connecticut, et cetera (i.e., places where Democrat senate seats are at risk), it's probably a good time to check in with them and let them know where you stand.

Let's slap this one down, folks... thanks for reading!

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posted by xgenghisx at 11:33 PM

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