Compromise to Nowhere by Pat Conrad MD

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Since 1965 when Medicare was passed, we have been on an inexorable road to a place where medical care is now a ready vehicle for wealth redistribution.  Ironically, even in a down economy, the deserving seniors still represent the wealthiest generation in human history.  So of course everyone else needs to take a haircut to keep George and Myrtle on the golf course.  There’s no way to be apolitical about this, except to say that this is a pro-establishment event.  In a late-year-shove-it-through deal, Rep Paul Ryan (R) and Sen. Patty Murray (D) announced a budget compromise to avoid a government shutdown. 

Here’s the fix:  “the Medicare 2 percent cut aimed at providers, worth more than $120 billion over the 10 years of the sequester” will now be extended for another two years.  These same cuts have already hurt a lot of Medicare providers, and certainly have not increased access for the early bird special bunch.

Class warrior Democrats will shed no tears over pay cuts to wealthy doctors, while cowardly Republicans will not defend those who can, y’know, tough it out.  How’s that for bipartisan?  Devious vs. Reprehensible.  There won’t be a fight over discretionary spending, and most important of all, our deserving seniors won’t have to suffer any anxiety while the younger folks firewall it toward the economic cliff.   Will this save Medicare?  Of course not.  Will it make things worse?  Absolutely.  And in the meantime, the regulations that require ever more coders, administrators, JCHAO commissars, and other parasites will only increase, while those who actually treat patients can just buck up, and work a little harder.  Whenever a core measure is missed or some quasi-government drone documents an unlabeled bottle of sterile water, that’s one less nurse actually available at the bedside.  And of course all those struggling primary care docs who start to lose money on Medicare patients can just make it up on volume.

 

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected]