Op-eds
Medicare Payments Being Decided This Week
Medicare Payments Being Decided This Week
By Jane M. Orient, M.D. This week Congress will, for the 18th time, decide whether to cut doctors’ Medicare fees across the board, according to the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate, “SGR”, formula (the Clinton-Gingrich sustainable growth rate). This was enacted in 1997 as part of the Balanced Budget Act. It has been postponed 17 times because of the threat that seniors would lose access to medical care. And with each delay, the threatened future cut gets bigger. On March 31, the cut will be 21%, if it happens. Since doctors’ expenses consume at least half of what comes in, that... read more
Medical Care in Venezuela Destroyed by Price Controls
Medical Care in Venezuela Destroyed by Price Controls
By Richard Amerling, M.D. Anyone who believes central control of the medical system is a good thing should read the report from Venezuela in the Wall Street Journal. Here’s an excerpt: “His heart failing fast, Pedro Gonzalez checked into one of Venezuela’s leading public hospitals in September, hoping for a new heart valve to save his life. . . . In late November, the director of cardiovascular surgery at the University Hospital sent out letters to the cardiology ward’s patients, telling them they were being discharged. The reason cited: a dearth of operating room supplies — no catheters, no working... read more
Presidential Candidates in the Year of the Sheep
Presidential Candidates in the Year of the Sheep
By Marilyn M. Singleton, M.D., J.D. Gong Hay Fat Choy! [Happy New Year!] The Chinese Year of the Sheep is upon us. Sheep are known for trying to make people happy and being loyal followers. Too many of our elected “leaders” have lived their careers in the Year of the Sheep. This is also the year where potential presidential candidates surface. The candidates range from the anointed one, establishment insiders, and those pretending not to be insiders, to those on the fringe. All we now know is what the potential candidates have told us about themselves or what the media... read more
What Will Happen If Supreme Court Cuts ObamaCare Subsidies?
What Will Happen If Supreme Court Cuts ObamaCare Subsidies?
By Jane M. Orient, M.D. The Obama Administration was apparently shocked when the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of King v. Burwell, which challenges insurance subsidies flowing through federal Exchanges. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) clearly states that subsidies flow only through Exchanges established by States. This, according to MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, was meant to be a deal the States couldn’t refuse, to “encourage” them to create an Exchange. But more than 30 of them did refuse. The Administration, however, had a ready fix: the IRS just wrote a rule that allows the subsidies to flow... read more
ObamaCare Cronyism vs. the Free Market
ObamaCare Cronyism vs. the Free Market
By: G. Keith Smith, M.D. http://SurgeryCenterOK.com, http://MarketMedicine.org Who will rescue the victims of ObamaCare and other government healthcare schemes? Not the legislators or regulators, but rather the growing free market. Patients who learn that an ObamaCare or Medicaid card doesn’t mean care are looking for a better way. On the primary-care front are Atlas MD, Epiphany Health, and MedLion, just to mention a few. In such subscription programs, a patient or family pays a small amount each month to cover primary-care needs. Small means less than what it costs just to administer Medicaid primary-care needs, or as Dr. Lee Gross,... read more
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