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Obama Urges Senate to Prevent Medicare Payment Cuts for Doctors

3 years ago
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President Obama urged Senate Republicans Saturday to go along with legislation preventing a looming 21 percent reduction in Medicare reimbursements for doctors. But the president also said he realized that "simply kicking these cuts down the road another year is not a long-term solution to this problem."

In his weekly address, Obama said doctors would face cuts of more than one-fifth in Medicare payments this week unless the Senate agrees to defer the lower reimbursement formula, as it has since 2003. The reduced payment schedule, put in place a decade ago, was an attempt to slow the rapid growth in Medicare costs, but it proved unrealistic.
President Obama in White House Rose Garden
Obama said a majority in the Senate is "willing to prevent" the pay cut this year, but "some Senate Republicans may even block a vote on this issue" -- that is, filibuster to delay an up-or-down vote on final passage. The lower payments, he said could lead doctors "to stop participating in the Medicare program. And that could lead seniors to lose their doctors."

In the future, the president said, he wants to "take the difficult steps necessary to lower the cost of Medicare and put our budget on a more fiscally sustainable path. But I'm not willing to do that by punishing hard-working physicians or the millions of Americans who count on Medicare. That's just wrong."

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182 Comments

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marktmurphy5

Obie, you intentionally left this out of the Health Care bill so you could claim and spend a medicare cut. You find the the money on your side of the aisle.

June 13 2010 at 8:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
James A

Obama and the Democrats played the old pea and shell game. Now, with the illegal law passed, Obama has lost the pea. The shells he can move but the pea is gone. It is the Republicans who are charged with finding the pea for the game.
Let Obama and Democrats find the pea on their own. Find the pea . . or forfeit the game.

June 12 2010 at 9:08 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
Anita

And what about Medicaid? Nobody is talking about it, do the people who have been forced onto medicaid just die or what?

June 12 2010 at 9:03 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
bellerophon85a

Medicare cuts are part of ObamaCare signed into law by the President. The Democrats insisted on this Medicare "savings" to phony up ObamaCare to seem revenue neutral (10 years of savings to pay for 6 years of benefits). So now Obama wants to forget about these savings he signed into law, and, facing a tough election time; create a lie to blame Republicans for reduced Medicare benefits.

June 12 2010 at 6:37 PM Report abuse +11 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bellerophon85a's comment
barney2022

I cant wait to see how many people will refuse to pay the fine for not having medical insurance. Unfortunately, Obama wont be President by the time this happens and I think he knows it. He will go down in history as being the "great divider". I was not a big fan of Bush or even Clinton but I always felt like both of these men were still my President. Not with this guy... Its like he truly hates everything that has made this country great.

June 12 2010 at 8:41 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
cruisedoc

Yep, it's called 'the doctor fix' and WAS originally part of the Obamacare bill. It was cut from the bill so it could be passed separately, later on. This was a gimmick to bring in the pricetag of the bill artificially low, since BO had said he wouldn't sign anything over 900 billion. Of course, now the CBO has revised the cost of the bill only months after passing to well over 900 billion, saying they underestimated by 120 billion. Folks, it's politics - and the worst kind, deceptive politics. Taxes start NOW, but benefits not for 4 years. Another gimmick - 10years of taxes for 6 yrs. of benefits. The REAL cost over 10 yrs. is $2.5 trillion. I don't have the answer, but I do know we can't afford this - and if we bankrupt our country, then even vital core programs will be in jepardy. I can say that our costs keep going up, but our payments keep going down. I know a fairly busy practice that closed yesterday. The reason? Not enough paying patients and too many medicare patients. This general M.D. will be sorely missed in our area. You just can't stay in practice by breaking even. Dr. G.

June 12 2010 at 6:34 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
Tracy

This president pushed this healthcare fiasco thru knowing full well that the medicare cuts within the bill made all the numbers work as they related to "bringing down the deficit". I believe the republicans stated that this bill would raise the deficit because congress would never implement the necessary cuts to medicare and now here we are. The president wants to blast the republicans for daring to vote against the "doc fix" when he knows they were right all along to resist this healthcare cram down!

June 12 2010 at 6:33 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
tjstieg

So the guy that totally ignores tort reform now wants to "throw the doc a bone"--how magnanimous and totally politically motivated. Tries to do only that which will look good on his resume' to as many groups as possible. Yawn, who else is tired of politics as usual on the Beltway?

June 12 2010 at 5:39 PM Report abuse +12 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to tjstieg's comment
minermom

Thank God we don't have tort reform. BP Oil would leave us stranded and say "Sue me". Think about it.

June 12 2010 at 6:06 PM Report abuse -8 rate up rate down Reply
cruisedoc

We're talking about medical mal-practice reform, not BP and such general liability. Think about that. Even such reform would still provide liability recovery, fair & reasonably, just not insane amounts that drive up the cost of everybody's care. Trail lawyers are major contributors to the dem party ...it's political. Honestly, I could lower a patients HC costs by about half, if I were allowed to use my best judgement. That's right, about half the tests I order could be eliminated. Instead, we all order many tests because are obliged to cover our tails. I do ask myself if I think a test is needed, but then ask myself what a lawyer would do if I didn't order the test.

June 12 2010 at 6:50 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
docjgmm

Aw Geez. Cutting MD's pay for treating the uninsured is NOW a bad thing in an election year while nanny government forces private insurance companies out of business and takes us to UK/Canada socialized medicine? I am not an MD. but more and more people are waking up to this political fraud. I doubt this will be published because it may not be PC with this site and (in your disclaimer) not a productive addition to the conversation.

June 12 2010 at 5:28 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
Gregg

Our Country needs to do something to curb the abuse of our Medicare system, which has been incuring more and more abuse, especially in light of illegal immigrants using it to have babies, to supplement there ability to live here(illegaly), and for many many irresponsible people who feel that they should be able to have children and have everyone else pay for it. We have become a nation of "Enablers", and there are plenty of morons who are going to continue to take advantage of these systems as long as we continue to "Enable" them. We have got to start holding people accountable, and stop allowing such irresponsible behavior among those who choose to live here. We are in the most serious financial predicament we have faced in many years, and I have yet to hear someone in our government, more specifically our President call it like it is. He is instead focused on making excuses for these people instead of taking the responsible position of saying it like it is. Wake Up America! Our ship is sinking, and the problems that are contributing greatly to it are not even being brought up or discussed.

June 12 2010 at 5:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shaggycsb

Did I read that someone said this cut is part of "Obamacare"? Did you read the article? This medicare payment cut was passed in 2003. I may be wrong here, but I don't think Obama was the President then. I think the President in 2003 was the same one who received $1,000,000 when he sold the perscription plan (Part D of Medicare) to the big pharm companies. I am so sick of people blaming the ones trying to fix things for the mess that was already made. Did you know that a lot of the increase in health cost is to pay for the people who don't have any coverage? Did you know that the #1 cause of lost man hours in small businesses is due to employees who are too sick to come to work and can't go see a Dr. because they can't afford it? Stop making a profit off of peoples illness and misery. Oh, if you want to end "big government" and taxes, try driving on unpaved roads only for the next week, or figure out how to educate your chil when there are no schools, or tell your Grandmother to pay $600 a month for medical insurance instead of the $100 she pays now for medicare.

June 12 2010 at 4:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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