The Fix to the ‘Doc Fix’ Is No Fix at All

Obamacare by from National Review, April 14, 2015

The Senate is now considering the Medicare-physician-payment legislation that the House passed shortly before Congress’s recent two-week break. In all likelihood, a large, bipartisan group of senators will support the bill and thus ensure it becomes law (the Obama administration has already indicated that the president will sign it). That’s very unfortunate because it’s misguided legislation that will do far more harm than good.

Some House and Senate Republicans are enthused about the bill because it would probably break (at least for some period of time) the cycle of annual “doc fixes” that have been implemented for more than a decade to prevent large, irrational cuts to physician fees under Medicare. Spending money on higher physician fees has strong appeal, even for supposed fiscal conservatives. They are also pleased that the bill includes two modest reforms in Medicare’s structure — small increases in premiums for upper-income beneficiaries, and a prospective prohibition on Medigap plan coverage of the part B deductible.

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