I'm going to step into this one gingerly. I have never seen a Medicare patient in my entire career. True, as a pediatrician, I never had the occasion to. I do feel sorry for my colleagues that do see Medicare patients, because they are going to be hit with a tsunami that is welling up right now and will hit them full force in January. There is a lot of talk bandied about currently regarding the estimated $700 billion in cuts Obamacare will make to Medicare, where it will come from, who it will affect. In a move likely designed to reassure nervous seniors about the status of their healthcare, the administration has stated that the majority of the cuts are meant to decrease payments to physicians and hospitals; that they wouldn’t think of cutting anybody’s benefits. This is the type of reassurance that Wile E. Coyote gave the Roadrunner just prior to the anvil dropping from the sky,
or that given by Snidely Whiplash to Nell just before tying her to the railroad tracks.
This stance begs a very fundamental question. What does the administration think that Medicare benefits are made of, if not mostly payments to physicians and hospitals? If you think it is hard to find a doc who accepts Medicare now, just wait until they see a 31% cut in January. If we can’t have a substantive conversation about the sustainability or the viability of Medicare without resorting to silly assertions such as the above, then this debate needs more than an astute politician to turn the tide. It will take a hero the like we haven’t seen in a long while:
The administration’s thinking on the Medicare cut issue is almost sophomoric. Cartoonlike comes to mind.