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Obama Is Not Reforming Healthcare The Right Way

Last year’s “Doctor Fix” was passed the last week congress was in session in 2010. This was after the medical profession was held in suspense for 9 months.

The “Doctor Fix” was supposedly the result of President Obama making a deal with the AMA for the AMA’s support. He was going to pass a real “Doctor Fix” in 2011 by repairing the defective sustainable growth rate formula (SGR). Nothing has been done about this by President Obama in 2011. The cumulative physician reimbursement reduction of 25% was suspended until January 2012.

Physicians face a 29.5% Medicare Pay Cut in January 2012. Four and one half percent was added to last year’s cumulative physicians reimbursement reduction. The reduction was calculated into the CBO’s cost score for President Obama’s Healthcare Reform Act.

Last week an official with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services unveiled the 29.5% rate reduction for 2012 in a recent letter to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. This will become another distraction for physicians and the media as President Obama stalls for time. Read more »

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

Why Is Obama Flogging A Dead Healthcare Reform Horse?

Seeing President Obama traveling the land this week, delivering yet more speeches on the critical importance of passing THIS healthcare reform legislation NOW, makes DrRich shake his head in wonderment.

For one thing, the President’s rhetoric on healthcare reform is already stale. As he himself has said, the arguing has gone on long enough; minds are made up. And the President seems to have nothing new to say.

We proles, in fact, know that the status quo is unacceptable, and that the health insurance companies are evil and are assiduously pricing people out of the market just as fast as they can; and we have concluded that something needs to be done. The fact that the majority of us have not made the connection between “something needs to be done” and “this is the only solution that we may consider” is not, as the President has claimed, due to the fact that he hasn’t explained it to us often enough. We just don’t like the solution he and his party have settled upon. Read more »

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

What Is The Republican Plan For Healthcare Reform?

It looks as if President Obama’s plans for a February 25 bipartisan summit on health care will move forward, even as Republican leaders continue to express reservations.

The kicker is that the President is asking the GOP to show how it would “put a stop to insurance company abuses, extend coverage to millions of Americans, get control of skyrocketing premiums and out-of-pocket costs, and reduce the deficit” (italics added by me). Many Republicans don’t view expanding coverage as a principal goal of health care reform. Read more »

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

Dr. Jon LaPook On CBS News: What Happened To Healthcare Reform?


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Why aren’t Americans in the streets, demanding reform of a health care system that is providing inadequate care for millions, wildly inefficient, and gradually bankrupting our country? A major reason: proponents of reform have lost control over the message because people think it’s too complicated to understand. Confused about important details of the proposals, the public is susceptible to misrepresentations by opponents. Read more »

The Health Plan Lobby’s War For Survival

This past weekend, AHIP – the American Health Insurance Plan trade group – seemed to turn at last against healthcare reform. For nearly a year the AHIP stood silently by, and indeed often made noises in support of the administration’s reform efforts, despite being cast by reformers as the chief villains of American healthcare. Then suddenly, a few days ago AHIP released a study produced for them by Price Waterhouse Cooper which concluded that healthcare reform (at least as advanced by the Baucus Senate Finance Committee) would result in massive increases in insurance premiums for Americans.

Becoming an apostate has always been far worse than being a mere infidel, and the AHIP action (seen as a act of betrayal and not merely an expression of opposition) has invoked the wrath of the powers that be. Democrats and progressives everywhere have quickly responded. Read more »

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

Latest Interviews

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Latest Book Reviews

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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