Saturday, November 13, 2010

Medicare Pay Cuts

Many people work just to have medical coverage. By age 65 most are burned out with medical problems of one kind or another. As if there are not enough problems for seniors, we find this in today's news. Oy Vey!

Doctors brace for possible big Medicare pay cuts   AP - November 13, 2010

The scheduled cuts - the result of a failed system set up years ago to control costs - have raised alarms that real damage to Medicare could result if the lame-duck Congress winds up in a partisan standoff and fails to act by Dec. 1. That's when an initial 23 percent reduction would hit.

Breast cancer surgeon Kathryn Wagner has posted a warning in her waiting room about a different sort of risk to patients' health: She'll stop taking new Medicare cases if Congress allows looming cuts in doctors' pay to go through.

Neither Democrats nor newly empowered Republicans want the sudden cuts, but there's no consensus on how to stave them off. The debate over high deficits complicates matters, since every penny going to make doctors whole will probably have to come from cuts elsewhere. A reprieve of a few months may be the likeliest outcome. That may not reassure doctors.

Birthday Memo for November 13th: Happy birthday to my friends, Geri, Pat, Chris, Sheila, Lisa, and Annie. Have fun wherever you are.