Medicare is “a program under the U.S. Social Security Administration that reimburses hospitals and physicians for medical care provided to qualifying people over 65 years old.”
Everybody pays into the Medicare bucket — if you pay taxes that is. In other words, you’re paying for those non-compliant diabetics who have to undergo dialysis and lower extremity amputations.
“I can’t be bothered to stick my finger every flippin’ day, take those damn blue pills, or not eat sugar. Hell, I’ve been drinking sweet tea every day for fitty years!”
“But Mr. Robertson, you could suffer from some very serious complications if you don’t manage your diabetes.”
“Naw. Ma pa had da sugar disease and he did OK. Lived to be 95 and ate biscuits n’ gravy every mornin’. That sugar disease don’t affect me or my family.”
You’re paying for these incompetent idiots. Doesn’t that piss you off? It certainly gets under my skin.
Medicare Likes Games
Take a look at this recent article from the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons:
If the provision survives, physicians would get a 0.5% pay increase in 2008 and 2009, instead of projected cuts of 9.9% and 5.0%.
Before you get too excited:
The tiny physician payment increases would be offset by 11% cuts in 2010 and 2011. Specialty societies report that the various cost-control schemes will pit physicians against each otherâ€”for example, it sets up an advisory panel to re-do Relative Value Units (RVUs) for â€œover-valuedâ€ services.
Let’s take a look at some basic math. Pay increases of 0.5% per year for two years instead of projected cuts of 9.9% and 5.0% This is a net increase of 15.9% However, cuts in 2010 and 2011 add up to 22%, leaving physicians with a net pay decrease of 6.1% Factor in inflationary costs and docs are pedaling backwards.
Other changes include abolishing â€œHealth Opportunity Acounts,â€ the provision that allows HSA-programs in Medicaid; repealing a provision of the Medicare Modernization Act that restricts the use of general revenues to fund Medicare; and raises fees of certified nurse midwives to equal those of obstetricians. There is a plethora of new requirements that enrich some interest groups and kill off others.
Democrats plan to pay for the bill by boosting federal tobacco taxes and hiking taxes on insurance companies by $2 per person.
On the whole, the bill contains â€œthe most sweeping changes in decadesâ€ to American medicineâ€”changes that will affect every American, stated Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ). It marks a sharp turn away from a re-invigorated private market and toward government-run medicine.
Watch out. Physicians are poised to be the next government employee. Ask any government worker: The paychecks suck.