Thursday, June 24, 2010

Obamacare and Dems Destroying Medicare

Everyone who actually followed the drive to pass Obamacare knows that the program is based on lies and deceit. What were some of the lies? We could enroll 31 million new patients and save billions. We could keep our existing insurance plans. Insurance rates would decline. Obama’s own administration is now making almost daily announcements that these promises were worthless. Americans cannot keep their existing plans, insurance rates are increasing fast, and the government healthcare program will add trillions to the debt. The financing of Obaamacare also was based on $500 billion in cuts in Medicare. The flight from Medicare is now in full force due to existing cuts and the promise of devastating cuts to come. As President Obama once said of an elderly patient, “Let him take a pain pill.” We must get rid of Obamacare before it goes into full effect.

Doctors limit new Medicare patients

By Richard Wolf, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — The number of doctors refusing
new Medicare patients because of low government
payment rates is setting a new high, just six months
before millions of Baby Boomers begin enrolling in
the government health care program.

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. The cut went into effect
Friday, even as the Senate approved a six-month
reprieve. The House has approved a different bill.

• The American Academy of Family Physicians says
13% of respondents didn't participate in Medicare
last year, up from 8% in 2008 and 6% in 2004.

• The American Osteopathic Association says 15% of
its members don't participate in Medicare and 19%
don't accept new Medicare patients. If the cut is not
reversed, it says, the numbers will double.

• The American Medical Association says 17% of
more than 9,000 doctors surveyed restrict the
number of Medicare patients in their practice.
Among primary care physicians, the rate is 31%.

The federal health insurance program for seniors
paid doctors on average 78% of what private
insurers paid in 2008.

"Physicians are saying, 'I can't afford to keep losing
money,' " says Lori Heim, president of the family
doctors' group.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
says 97% of doctors accept Medicare. The agency
doesn't know how many have refused to take new
Medicare patients, Deputy Administrator Jonathan
Blum says. "Medicare beneficiaries have good access
to physician services. We do have concerns about
access to primary care physicians."

The AARP, the nation's largest consumer group
representing seniors, is taking notice. Some U.S.
areas already face a shortage of primary care
physicians. Policy director John Rother says the
trend away from Medicare threatens to make it

States are starting to see a flight from Medicare:

•In Illinois, 18% of doctors restrict the number of
Medicare patients in their practice, according to a
medical society survey.

•In North Carolina, 117 doctors have opted out of
Medicare since January, the state's medical society

•In New York, about 1,100 doctors have left
Medicare. Even the medical society president isn't
taking new Medicare patients.

"I'm making a statement," says Leah McCormack, a
New York City dermatologist. "Many physicians are
really being forced out of private practice."

Florida has the highest percentage of Medicare
patients, and most doctors can't afford to leave the
program. But "the level of frustration has been
higher this year than I've ever seen it before," says
Linda McMullen of the Florida Medical Association.


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