I’m not saying somebody paid to have Harry Reid beaten up. But if somebody did…

…it apparently was Planned Parenthood:

Tensions are roiling between Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi over an unusual point of contention for the two top Democrats: abortion policy.

The fight is serious enough that it could kill the House Minority Leader’s ambitious deal with Republicans on the so-called “doc-fix.”

Continue reading I’m not saying somebody paid to have Harry Reid beaten up. But if somebody did…

Just a reminder: in six days the ‘doc fix’ goes away.

California Healthline is of the somewhat optimistic opinion that they’ll pass the doc fix* before it expires March 31st. The House wants a delay of the individual mandate: the Senate wants… whatever it is that is telling Harry Reid what to do today. Personally, I don’t care if they pass a permanent version fix, or let the current one lapse: either way, Congress would stop getting to use it as an accounting trick to make the annual deficit look smaller.

People in the health care field may, of course, have a different opinion on best outcomes. But from a budgetary point of view the doc fix is a monster.  Kill it one way, or another.

Moe Lane

*I described the doc fixlast March. As you can see, I have mellowed slightly on the subject since then.  I mean, when you’re already covered in mud and slime, what’s a little more?

Let us kill the Medicare ‘doc fix.’

Let us kill it with FIRE.

Background: the ‘doc fix’ is one of those things that happens in Dizzy City with alarming regularity.  Basically, it was set up in order to control Medicare costs by linking Medicare subsidies to doctors to annual growth; if costs rose too high, Medicare payments to doctors would shrink.  Nice feedback loop – only thing is, the first year it was supposed to come into effect (2002) the medical lobby started screaming, and it turns out that the medical lobby has a lot of money for lobbying.  So since then the government has been ‘fixing’ the ‘problem’ on a year by year basis so that Medicare payments to doctors would not be reduced (this cost the government $30 billion last year, by the way).  And if you’re wondering why they simply don’t fix the numbers permanently, or let the cuts go in fully… well.  It turns out that the CBO is required to assume that Congress is NOT going to extend the ‘doc fix’ until it actually does, which means that the budget (when we have one) can actually get away with not taking that $30 billion into account when it comes to calculating expenditures.  Thirty billion here, thirty billion there: add it all up and pretty soon we’re talking about real money.

With me so far?  Good.  So let’s kill the ‘doc fix.’

Continue reading Let us kill the Medicare ‘doc fix.’

President begging GOP for doc fix favor.

Not just “No.”
Not even just “Hell, no.”

The background: Obamacare assumed in its ‘official’ numbers cuts in Medicare payments to doctors; this has been scheduled for some time, but every year there was a ‘doc fix‘ to keep the cuts from being enacted.  The merits of the doc fix can be argued later: what is important here is that the Democrats used these supposedly planned cuts to make Obamacare look fiscally responsible, and the Republicans loudly pointed out that the Democrats had no intention of actually making the cuts, thus giving one more data point to support the argument that Obamacare was a passel of lies.  There was even a memo (later frantically declared fake, but never confirmed fake) noting that after the passage of Obamacare there’d be time to do the doc fix, so no need to talk about it at the time.

Lo. Obamacare has passed, and the President wants to talk about stopping the doc fix. Continue reading President begging GOP for doc fix favor.