Wha?

1 Aug

I need to do more reading to make a definite decision about the debt ceiling compromise,  but one of the arguments I’m seeing around the lefty blogs that are in support of it is that the Medicare trigger is “just” directed at the providers, so we shouldn’t worry. (Or even that this is a victory for Democrats because doctors, drug companies, and hospitals tend to donate toward the Republican party more often).

Um…guys…what do you think will happen when providers aren’t paid? Especially in underserved areas where a larger portion of the population is poor and/or elderly? Some hospitals rely on Medicare to keep their doors open, as do nursing homes. For many providers, it’s not that they are being greedy and refusing to operate without federal funding; it’s that they *can’t.*

Undoubtedly, the Medicare payment system needs reforming, but sudden, unplanned cuts and caps to providers will result in Medicare patients receiving less care and lower-quality care and, most likely, would lead to an increase in the cost of health care for the rest of us. I could be wrong, but that doesn’t sound like a Democratic victory to me.

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5 Responses to “Wha?”

  1. Substance McGravitas 08.02.2011 at 00:07 #

    I love the smell of no payments in the morning. Smells like… victory.

  2. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© 08.02.2011 at 08:06 #

    Ezra Klein: “Democrats will lose now. But they can win later.”

    They could buy powerball tickets.
    ~

  3. J Neo Marvin 08.02.2011 at 08:35 #

    As a former medical biller, I will say yes, this shit will have a big impact.

  4. truculentandunreliable 08.02.2011 at 11:51 #

    Ezra Klein is an idiot. Seriously. Look. I know sometimes you have to eat the shit sandwich. But don’t fucking tell me that it’s a BLT, bitches.

    J Neo…how do they think Medicare works??? Cutting payments to providers basically means cutting care for people on Medicare. Jesus Christ.

  5. B^4 08.02.2011 at 13:59 #

    Fixing Medicare is such a no-brainer- just let younger people buy into it. Medicare, as it’s structured now, takes older, sicker patients off the roles of the for-profit insurance companies, allowing them to internalize profits and externalize losses. Allowing younger, healthier individuals pay into the system would increase revenues, decrease costs, and all for coverage of catastrophic losses. I remember reading somewhere that Obama could have expanded Medicare for all with an executive order, but I can’t be arsed Googling it.

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