Saturday, October 08, 2011


Republicans figure if they can't get rid of Medicare, they'll just make it so unprofitable to implement it for doctors that they'll drop out.  The rest will take care of itself.  Take Texas, for instance.

Half of Texas physicians would consider withdrawing from the Medicare program if Congress allows a forthcoming deep cut in reimbursement payments, Texas Medical Association officials said Thursday.

The result of the cut could mean more elderly people would lose access to their doctors and have trouble finding new ones, said Dr. Bruce Malone, association president.

Malone shared the results of the association survey of physicians while calling for federal lawmakers to revamp the payment formula for doctors. Without action, physicians will see a 29.6 percent cut in reimbursements starting Jan. 1.

And House Republicans will hold that hostage too.  Count on it.  The only questions are what concessions they'll want and how likely they are to get them.  Messing with Medicare may be playing with fire, but Republicans have yet to pay a real price for it at the polls yet.

That could change in 2012, but then again voters would have to determine that.  If they don't, I figure a lot more of us will be paying the price on a lot of things, especially those who can least afford that price.