In a last-minute shocker, the Senate voted Thursday against postponing a scheduled 21-percent cut in Medicare reimbursement to physicians and other healthcare providers. Sixty senators were needed to end filibuster debate and stop the cuts under Senate rules. Fifty six voted in favor, while 40 opposed. There was no Republican support. (And, of course, no support from Senator Lieberman, who is a Republican in disguise.)
Another consequence of the vote is that tens of thousands of Americans who have exhausted their jobless benefits would not be eligible for more. In addition, new taxes on wealthy investment managers would not be imposed, along with an increase in liability taxes on oil companies, leading Democrats to contend that Republicans were protecting Wall Street and the oil industry, according to the New York Times.
“We’re not going to give up,” said Senator Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat and majority leader. “We know the American people only have us to depend on.” Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*
By Stanley Feld MD, FACP, MACE
Physicians in practice work hard and have little time for political and legal trickery. They assume their leadership will look out for their interests while they take care of patients.
The problem is that physicians do not have effective leadership, explaining the difficulties practicing physicians have every day with the healthcare insurance industry, hospital administrators, the government and the threat of liability. Most physicians are caring professionals who are not looking to rip off anyone. Physicians do expect reasonable compensation commensurate with their training, level of expertise and level of responsibility.
I recently presented a physician income survey to a group of corporate executives. The executives were astonished by the level of physician income relative to their level of responsibility.
The unanimous reaction of these corporate executives was the average physician’s income was that of a low mid-level manager. It is true some practice specialties earn more but the average income of practicing physicians is not commensurate with their knowledge and responsibility. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Repairing the Healthcare System*