According to the Congressional Quarterly (the whole article can be found here):
“Congress is most likely to settle for another one-year patch to block a scheduled 22 percent reduction in the payments to doctors in 2010.
That would set up even deeper required cuts in 2011, and force lawmakers to step in again next year — just as it has almost every year since 2002.”
Because Medicare is bankrupt, the system needs to reduce payments to doctors. Of course, this is the same system that is supposed to be so well run. A system with lower “administrative” expenses and no “marketing” expenses. This is the system that is destined for a 22% reduction in fees to doctors. What a great way to provide a positive incentive for young college students to aspire for a career in medicine. The CQ goes on to say:
“Finance Chairman Max Baucus , D-Mont., included only a one-year patch in the health care overhaul his panel is working on this week. Why? Keeping the rest of the scheduled cuts on the books reduces the deficit on paper by tens of billions of dollars over the next decade, and even more in future years. Baucus is struggling to hold down the officially scored costs of his health bill.”
In other words, there is no money to fix the broken Medicare system, and no one wants to admit to the actual cost by placing the costs on the books. So, just like Social Security, which is now officially bankrupt starting next year, our Federal Government is lying to us about the deficit by cooking the books.
Boy, that government run system is great, isn’t it? As I’ve said before, allow buying across State lines, broaden the use of High-Deductible plans, mandate coverage of pre-existing conditions, and mandate portability of programs.