There was a problem with this gimmick, though. Mr. Baucus proposed to save money in Medicare by gutting the Medicare Advantage program, in which 23 percent of seniors are enrolled, and by slashing the payments doctors and hospitals receive for treating Medicare patients.13 Democrats joined the entire Republican caucus to reject Reid's cowardly attempt to fool the public on the real costs of the bill. If the Senate wants to spend well over a trillion dollars over the next ten years to take over the health care industry, at least they can have the decency to be honest about it.
Medicare currently reimburses doctors only 94 cents for each dollar of health-care services provided. To slash payments another 21.5 percent, as Mr. Baucus proposed, would not be popular with doctors. And if payments were slashed, many doctors who now treat Medicare patients would stop seeing them, which would not be popular with Medicare patients.
To fix this problem, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., proposed to block the Medicare reimbursement cuts for 10 years. The logical thing to do would have been to offer the Stabenow proposal as an amendment to the Baucus bill. But if that were done, the cost of the Baucus bill would rise by $247 billion over 10 years, according to the CBO. Democrats could no longer claim it was deficit neutral.
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Monday, October 26, 2009
Harry Reid trying to hide cost of ObamaCare
Jack Kelly reports at Real Clear Politics on the machinations of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to hide the true cost of the ObamaCare health care reform, and last week's vote in the Senate to prevent such a massive fraud from happening.