Medicare Back On The Brink Over Cuts To Doctors

Doctors are again facing steep Medicare cuts that could undermine health care for millions of seniors and disabled people, unless Congress acts by Jan. 1 to stave them off.

The cuts have become a recurring symbol of the government's budget woes.

This time it's a 27.4 percent cut. Last year, it was about 20 percent.

It's all a consequence of a 1990s budget law that failed to control spending but never got repealed. Congress passes a temporary fix each time, only to grow the size of reductions required next time around.

Last week's supercommittee breakdown leaves the problem unresolved with time running out. Congress is looking at options that include one-year and two-year fixes. But there's no consensus on how to pay for the billions of dollars that would cost.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 28, 2011 at 05:55 PM
    It shouldn't be higher at all. I have no pitty for doctors. I have yet to see one of them in a doublewide trailer. They feed on the public using fear just like lawyers. CUT CUT CUT til it is the same charged for all
  • by Anonymous on Nov 28, 2011 at 05:55 PM
    It shouldn't be higher at all. I have no pitty for doctors. I have yet to see one of them in a doublewide trailer. They feed on the public using fear just like lawyers. CUT CUT CUT til it is the same charged for all
  • by Anonymous on Nov 28, 2011 at 05:48 AM
    They need to cut all foreign aid before they start cutting at home.
  • by George Location: Washington on Nov 28, 2011 at 05:05 AM
    This proposed cut will also affect most of the retired military as they have a medicare based health program. Cuts to the program will drive more doctors to drop their practice of taking medicare patients. I have seen this happen already right here in Washington.
  • by Scrooge McDuck on Nov 28, 2011 at 04:56 AM
    Only we wealthy should have healthcare in the first place. The poor are just clogging up the system. Fortunately, my Republican friends will be putting them in their place soon.
    • reply
      by Obama Snake Oil Co on Nov 28, 2011 at 07:37 AM in reply to Scrooge McDuck
      Seems you forgot that Obama and Congress,controlled by democrats cut 600 billion from the program...think now...oh, thats right, it really shows, you let others think for you. A real party voter guy...sorry, but your world will take a shake up in 2012. I just don't want to hear the whine and excuses you guys always come up with...
  • by Teresa Location: Martin Co. on Nov 28, 2011 at 04:51 AM
    It really angers me when they talk about cutting services for the elderly and disabled. These people realy need the help and most have worked hard until they were no longer able to. They put into the system and have earned the right to receive Medicare when they can no longer work. Cut medicaid and make those able to work either go to work or go without. To give able-bodied people services and cut the same services for elderly and disabled truely shows how low America is going. I have elderly people in my family who actually NEED help and one who is truely disabled who is already having a hard time getting the proper medical care. These three people worked thirty years plus. They contributed all their working lives and are now being thrown to the wolves. So I say Leave Medicare alone and find another way...Medicaid for those who make welfare a way of life is a great place to start!
  • by Lee Location: Washington on Nov 28, 2011 at 04:21 AM
    Doctors are the ones that can afford the cuts and feel the least amount of damage. They bill my ins. more than enough to make up the difference. When asked why I am charged so much more for the same care. It was put to me "because we can" So cut, cut, cut. I will pay for it anyway.
    • reply
      by learn b4 you write on Nov 28, 2011 at 05:29 AM in reply to Lee
      Actually, third party insurance reimburses many medical services at a rate only slightly above medicare. There is also a little bit of mathematics at play here -- when medical office overhead is, say, 60% and reimbursement is cut 27%, that 27% comes out of the amount after overhead. 27% out of that 40% comes out to a 67% pay cut for the physician. Would YOU keep working at your job after a 67% pay cut?
      • reply
        by Agree with Learn b4 you write on Nov 28, 2011 at 07:55 AM in reply to learn b4 you write
        Praying we do not have to lay off employees in our office because of these cuts.
      • reply
        by ? on Nov 28, 2011 at 08:39 AM in reply to learn b4 you write
        Let's not forget the 'healthcare' bill that will increase taxes for hospitals, doctor offices, and insurance companies and who knows what else in those 1,990 pages. Kind of a double whammy there if you think about it, pay cuts and tax increases, ouch.
  • by Barlow Location: Winterville on Nov 28, 2011 at 04:20 AM
    During a recent Republican debate when the moderator asked whether society should let someone that didn't have insurance die several people yelled "Yeah!" while others cheered. Republicans are not interested in helping people without money. period. Old, disabled it doesn't matter. On the other hand, if you are rich and say you need another tax break, they'll do everything they can for you.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 28, 2011 at 06:04 AM in reply to Barlow
      And to be fair.....if you want a hand out and feel like the tax payer owes you their hard earned money so you can sit around and do NOTHING, the Democratic party is right there to give it to you.
    • reply
      by ? on Nov 28, 2011 at 08:32 AM in reply to Barlow
      Proof or it didn't happen, if you had more creditability I would believe you but I've seen you post complete lies and then never back them up after you’re found out, so proof or it didn't happen.
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