I started doing research in order to write about the 21% in Medicare payments to doctors that will go into effect on Friday, June 18, 2010 unless Congress acts fast. * Instead, I got caught up in HR 4213, the "Tax Extenders Act" - legislation containing the “doc fix” that would postpone the cut. HR 4213 is not a simple bill designed to fix a couple of problems.
Besides Medicare (the only practical source for health insurance for everyone over 65 - remember when the Clinton administration threatened to prosecute seniors who contracted privately for their own health care?) the "extender" would also affect:
- 900,000 people about to lose unemployment benefits including COBRA (in some states, there's really no other option since the Feds inserted their "stimulus" funds ) after 6 to 99 (!) months,
- Every one who needs flood insurance (FEMA – there is no other choice since the Feds took over),
- First time home buyers trying to qualify for a tax rebate (yeah, sure, we can’t pay our bills but lets buy the kids a house),
- Medicaid recipients (the Feds offer $2 or $3 for every one dollar the State offers, then wonder why medical costs are going up),
- Teachers (why not bail out the big cities that can't cover school teacher salaries with local taxes since everyone with a job ran for the suburbs?),and
- Even defense spending and veterans’ benefits (probably an afterthought on the Dems' part).
No wonder the Senate is dead locked over deficit spending in the Bill, which would cost somewhere between $25 Billion and $55 Billion dollars!
Republicans and one or two Democrats are demanding that spending be cut or that some of the money come from unused TARP and Stimulus funds. House Democrats are deeply hurt that they voted yet again under Nancy Pelosi’s gun, but the Senate is going to change everything.
How about this, Washington: don’t give anyone a raise; don’t make unemployment permanent; pay what you have to; and no new benefits or taxes! By the way, a cut in the increase is not a real cut!
*Explanation of "SGR" and "doc fix": Twice this year, doctors have waited for Medicare payments until Congress passed emergency “fixes” to delay a scheduled cut built into the erroneously named “Sustainable Growth Rate” (SGR). Back in March, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services instructed local insurance managers to hold on to Medicare claims for two weeks while waiting for Congress to pass a Bill to hold payments steady. Another cut and hold went into effect on June 1st and expired at midnight on June 17th. The wait is over, but the checks will be much smaller for services rendered over the last few weeks and in the foreseeable future.
The “SGR” was designed to cut Medicare costs by limiting the total amount of money to be spent paying doctors. There is no similar limit for hospitals, pharmacy benefits or equipment suppliers. The idea is that when more patients see their doctors or see their doctors more often, doctors will be paid a smaller slice of the Medicare spending pie in order to keep Medicare spending stable. Until this week, Congress has avoided all the cuts by delaying smaller cuts over the years, attaching the “doc fix” to budget bills and other emergency spending.
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Smaller Bill passed by Senate, too late for House to vote
Late note: the Senate passed a stand alone bill that would have delayed the cut, but the House didn't have enough time to ratify the change. So Medicare charges since June 1 and until further notice will be paid at 69% of the old fee.
(Perhaps all this will forstall the usual September hold on Medicare payments used to balance each years' budget.)
The concurrent receipt proposal, endorsed by the Obama administration and included in the 2010 and 2011 defense budget requests submitted to Congress, begins with allowing veterans who are medically retired with fewer than 20 years of service to concurrently receive their full military disability retired pay and veterans disability compensation.
I am a Vietnam Veteran wounded June 12 today 1969 my wounds kept me from working not going to list the wounds here no one cares anyway! unlike other Veterans who came home safe and sound who were able to work some place for 20 years after that...Then they fall back on the VA saying they are crazy but spending no time in a hospital to even see if they could get better! ... Well they get to keep their retired pay from the company they worked for but I have to give up my military retirement which is well over 1100.00 $ every month in order to receive my VA check it not right that I have to give up my retirement and others get to kept theirs. Let say I got in the 60's and 70's 500 per month after 20 years I would have paid 10,000$ now for the next 20 year let say 1500 per month that 30,000 30+10=40,000$ you might say that’s no money at all... most would make that in a year time but for us disabled Veterans who live from month to month that a lot of money and this was stolen from us in order to pay for the VA.
Now H.R.4213 would give us our concurrently receive but I just know some one on the ways and means committee or the DOD are trying to figure ways to screw the Disabled Veterans again ..It seems the Department of Defense want us to go to a war some place and if you get wounded the Department of Defense wants to forget about you while those who were in 9-11 were made millionaires go figure. Went other country wants to pay for their veterans H. R. 6897 Filipino veterans who were granted benefits prior to the enactment of the so-called Rescissions Acts of 1946 (Public Laws 79-301 and 79-391) currently receive full benefits under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Go figure ...when our own VA gives out ...The VA Inspector General and members of the House Veterans Oversight Subcommittee are questioning $24 million awarded in bonuses. Pelosi is spending $18,000 a month for office rent alone go figure While our country has give banks millions upon billions of dollars and the Department of Defense wants to screw the combat disabled Veterans out of a very little money that aid and help them in every day life. We combat disabled Veterans went to war for this country doesn’t that count for something? We combat disabled Veterans have had to set on the side lines while other played the game doesn’t any one care at all how our Disabled Veterans have been treated and is treated all these years? Forget about your sacrifices better you then me! We at least think about you once a year Yes on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. This is what I call welfare freedom while some one else pays the price to have the freedom we have in every day life. Our politicians will say how proud how much they think about Combat Disabled Veterans... it’s not until we ask for what we have earned at that time we quickly learn just what they really think about the Veterans of this country. Maybe it the big I and the little u syndrome. It surely identify what they really think about our Combat Disabled Veterans.