As expected, the Senate passed the bill including a 1 year continuation of current Medicare payments rather than the 27% cut. Additionally, a last minute compromise delays by 2 months implementation of the additional 2% cut due to the “sequestration” provisions of the Budget Control Act of 2011. At this point, the House leadership will be meeting later this afternoon to determine if they will hold a vote tonight. We will update you as developments warrant.
Damn, I wanted the 27% cut!
Nothing less will be required for physicians and surgeons to finally demand quality patient care by saying ENOUGH! The level of care that U.S. doctors are trained to provide, that patients deserve, and that the community standard demands is highly individualized, labor intensive, technology intensive, intellectually intensive, risk intensive, and service intensive. It is EXPENSIVE, but a tremendous value because of the quality and quantity of life this high level of care provides for society!
Applying free market principles is the only way to promote quality, control costs, and broaden availability to all those in need (what a novel idea… introduce COMPETITION)! Politicians must stop using the promise of health care as an entitlement to be distributed in exchange for votes, but they will never do so until PHYSICIANS, SURGEONS, AND PATIENTS’ HOLD POLITICIANS ACCOUNTABLE!! DOCTORS DELIVER HEALTH CARE, NOT POLITICIANS! WE MUST SPEAK OUT AND WE MUST STAND STRONGLY FOR EVERY PATIENT’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE! Americans are free to choose nearly everything they purchase, but for arguably the most important service, their own health care, they are about to LOSE THE FREEDOM OF CHOICE! Many have already lost it because fewer physicians are accepting Medicare patients, and many don’t accept Medicaid. Soon (Affordable Care Act), both physicians and patients will have even less choice. Third parties (mostly government) will tell patients what they can and can’t have, and will tell doctors what products and services they can and can’t prescribe and provide, and to whom. When someone else “pays” for your health care, they control it! Health care must be controlled by those who need it (patients), NOT by third parties!! The worst part: Government is not giving us ANYTHING! We’re still paying for our own health care (taxes, assumption of debt), but government administers it much more inefficiently than the free market would, so we’re actually getting less health for more money! All of the above is supported by published scientific analysis.
If the Affordable Care Act is implemented as written, physicians and the public will have presided over the most disastrous erosion of quality, affordability, and availability of health care in history (because we were HANDED the highest established standards of care in history), and we’re saying and doing virtually NOTHING about it.
Steve Laverson, MD, FACS