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What Primary Care Physicians Need To Know About Healthcare Reform

DrRich is obviously far more intelligent than those wayward Democrat Congresspersons, whose last-minute “yes” votes Speaker Pelosi is seducing with her winning smile, and with her double-super-hope-to-die promise that the Senate will surely agree with the reconciliation package the House has finally assembled.

Unlike Pelosi’s reluctant Blue Dogs, DrRich understands that once the House has deemed the Senate bill to have been passed, and the President signs it into law, and the confetti drops and the champagne pops and the press goes into raptures and the work begins to revise Mt.Rushmore, the odds immediately become vanishingly small that the President, the Senate, or even the 200 House Democrats who really like the new law, will actually then embark on a new, prolonged, contentious spectacle of a reconciliation fight in the Senate.

Rather, once healthcare reform becomes law, political expediency dictates that we in the teeming masses never hear another word about healthcare until after the November elections. We will be distracted by more pressing matters, from which there will be many to choose — gasoline prices, Iranian nuclear weapons, economic collapses in the PIIGs, etc.

Now, DrRich does not have the stamina to study the new law all at once as a whole. He must bite off little pieces. And the first thing he sought in embarking on his study of our new healthcare system was evidence of how the new law would rescue the Primary Care Physician (PCP). Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Covert Rationing Blog*

Health Reform: What Do Americans Really Want?

As part of their closing argument against health reform, Republicans argue that Democrats who vote for the bill will be ignoring the will of the American people, at their own political peril. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accuses Democrats of wanting “to plow ahead on a partisan bill Americans don’t want.” McConnell is correct that just about every recent poll shows that majorities of Americans dislike the current legislation. But supporters of the legislation counter that it really has more public support than a simple “for it or against it” poll would yield.

The Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll finds that the country is evenly divided on the legislation, but large majorities support many of the major provisions in the bill. And when asked about the next steps for health reform:

32% said that Congress should “Move soon to pass the comprehensive legislation that has already been approved by the House and Senate.”

22% want to “Put healthcare on hold, so Congress can work on other priorities and try to deal with it later in the year.”

20% want to “Pull out a few key provisions where there is broad agreement and pass those, even though this won’t be comprehensive reform.”

19% want them to “stop working on healthcare” this year. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty*

Obamacare: What Are The Real Costs?

By Stanley Feld MD, FACP, MACE

The traditional media is not discussing the economic consequences of President Obama’s healthcare reform program.

In these final days, traditional media is describing the horse race to the finish line for a deemed vote (“Slaughter rule”) vs. a partisan up and down vote on the Senate bill. The horse race is a distraction to avoid discussing the unintended consequences of the bill.

Congressman Paul Ryan is the Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee and senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee. His focus has been to bring fiscal discipline to federal spending. The House Ways and Means committee’s jurisdiction is tax policy, social security and healthcare. He has been addressing America’s long-term fiscal crisis and the dangers of explosive entitlement spending. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Repairing the Healthcare System*

6 Reactions To The Healthcare Reform Plan

Since the 2000 Presidential election, and most especially since the world-changing events of October 17, 2004, I’ve known this: Don’t assume anything is over until it’s over. Still, I’m going to bed so I’m going to give you my six quick reactions to the healthcare reform plan, based on the assumption it’s about to get voted in:

UPDATE: I stayed up and it passed.

1.  It’s Historic. It is, but mostly because people keep saying that it is.  I mean the President of the United States has gambled most of what he’s got on this, so it’s one for the history books in that sense.  Still, a health care program that was truly historic would be something like taking all of the uninsured and just enrolling them immediately in Medicare.  This plan doesn’t come anywhere close to doing that.  Much of what is meant to deal with the serious problem of the uninsured doesn’t start for years, and is going to be handled through a complicated mechanism that may not even work.  I suspect the history-making part of this will have to do more with the political fortunes of the Democrats and President than American health care. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at See First Blog*

Attention Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi: The Senate Bill Penalizes The Poor

Provisions in the Senate and House health care reform bills propose to reallocate resources based on geographic differences in Medicare spending. While well intended, they will penalize providers who care for the poor and impair access for these vulnerable patients.

A reallocation of resources to lower-cost states has been endorsed by members of Congress from states with lower Medicare spending who believe that, by receiving less from Medicare, their states are currently being penalized for being “efficient.” However, it is not efficiency that accounts for their lower spending. It is less poverty and better health status. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at PHYSICIANS and HEALTH CARE REFORM Commentaries and Controversies*

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