Budget Gimmicks and the “Doc Fix”

March 1, 2011
36 Views

This is Michael Cannon, writing at the Cato@Liberty blog:

Back in 1997, Congress enacted automatic reductions in the price controls that Medicare uses to pay for physician services. Congress has delayed those cuts year after year… If the accumulated cuts were to take effect in 2012, as provided by current law, Medicare payments to physicians would fall by some 25 percent, and lots of seniors would find their doctor no longer accepts their Medicare coverage…

This is Michael Cannon, writing at the Cato@Liberty blog:

Back in 1997, Congress enacted automatic reductions in the price controls that Medicare uses to pay for physician services. Congress has delayed those cuts year after year… If the accumulated cuts were to take effect in 2012, as provided by current law, Medicare payments to physicians would fall by some 25 percent, and lots of seniors would find their doctor no longer accepts their Medicare coverage…

Enter President Obama’s FY2012 budget submission… As shown by the blue bars in the below graph, the administration proposes to delay these cuts until 2014 at a cost of $54 billion. As shown by the black line, the administration proposes to pay for this additional spending by reducing the rate of spending growth in other areas of Medicare by $62 billion over the next 10 years.

Note that only 6 percent of these Medicare “cuts” will occur in 2012 and 2013. The other 94 percent of the “cuts”…would take effect after Barack Obama is no longer president.


   

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