After Health Care Law, Doctors Drop Medicare Patients
June 23, 2010
Yesterday, the White House held another high profile health care event where President Obama again promised that the new health care law will strengthen Medicare. But once again, President Obama failed to explain to the American people that new law cuts half a trillion dollars in order to create a new government program for someone else.
Earlier this week, U.S.A. Today reported that the number of doctors refusing new Medicare patients because of low government payment rates is setting a new high:
“Recent surveys by national and state medical societies have found more doctors limiting Medicare patients, partly because Congress has failed to stop an automatic 21% cut in payments that doctors already regard as too low.”
During the health care debate, Congress had an opportunity to fix this problem and truly strengthen Medicare. But unfortunately, it jammed the bill through without ensuring that American seniors continue to have access to their doctors. Today, Senator Barrasso spoke about this serious problem on the Senate floor. Excerpts include:
“This Congress, this Senate jammed through this a bill that isn't going to provide better coverage. It's going to jam 16 million more people on to Medicaid…Mr. President, we know that almost half the doctors in the country don't take Medicaid patients. Now we're seeing more and more people as physicians and hospitals saying how do we keep the doors open with what Medicare is paying? So as fewer and fewer physicians are willing to take care of patients on Medicare, limiting their practices on Medicare and Medicaid.
“It's going to be increasingly difficult for the American people to be able to find a doctor. And that's why, Mr. President, I come to the floor with my second opinion about this health care law, telling you it is time to repeal this legislation and replace it with legislation that delivers more patient-centered solutions, delivers more personal responsibility, more opportunities for individuals who take control of their own health.”