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A Public Plan Should Pay Doctors & Hospitals Less Than Cost?

With regards to a compromise by Blue Dog Democrats on setting the rates for paying doctors:

Waxman’s committee resumed work Thursday, with the goal of finishing Friday, after a week-and-a-half delay caused by objections from fiscally conservative Democrats. That rebellion was quelled with an agreement Wednesday that would protect more small businesses from a requirement to provide insurance to their employees, and restructure a new public insurance plan so it could pay higher rates to doctors and other providers, among other changes.

What did the the other Democrats have to say about that?

“This agreement is not a step forward toward a good health care bill, but a large step backwards,” 53 Progressive Caucus members said in a letter to House leaders Thursday. “Any bill that does not provide, at a minimum, for a public option with reimbursement rates based on Medicare rates — not negotiated rates — is unacceptable.

Let me get this straight. In a world where Medicare and Medicaid pays less than cost, these Democrats want an option where doctors have the opportunity to lose money for every patient they take care of? If negotiated rates are unacceptable, exactly how is the Medicare rate acceptable. There is a reason why many Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries cannot find a doctor to take care of them. Because the non negotiated rates are unacceptable.
Perhaps our Congressmen and women would like the 300 million Americans to take a yearly vote on the value of their service to this country. No negotiation. Majority salary wins. You just may not like what your constituents are offering you. And you just might quit. How’s that for unacceptable.

*This blog post was originally published at A Happy Hospitalist*

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