Last week, Nancy Pelosi swore she would hold the doc fix hostage to what she hilariously calls ”jobs legislation,” making the usual charges of GOP obstructionism. But it looks like she’s going to cave:
A spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said a stand-alone bill that patches the payment problem for six months is expected to come to the floor today.
Pelosi tried to use the doc fix to pressure the GOP into going along with the “jobs” fraud, but that tactic was doomed from the start. The GOP didn’t need the fix to pass, and the AMA was pushing the Dems hard.
Faced with this reality, now everyone seems to be on the same page, with a bill giving doctors a 2.2% reimbursement increase retroactive to June 1.
Ironically, the six-month fix isn’t what Pelosi and the President promised the AMA. All it does is push a real solution to the Medicare payment problem beyond the midterm elections. And the docs aren’t happy.
The AMA, and other groups, made deals withthe Dems in return for supporting a “reform” bill that they knew was bad for patients and U.S. health care in general. In the end, they got the shaft.
I was about to call it a Faustian bargain, but that’s an insult to Mephistopheles. At least he kept his word to Dr. Faustus. The Dems didn’t honor their deal with Dr. Rohack. The AMA and the Dems deserve each other.
As Rich points out below, the six-month fix passed in the House with a (nearly) unanimous vote. Apparently, there was one vote against it from Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.). He was probably drunk and hit the wrong button. But my favorite part of today’s legislative contortions was the response from the AMA’s new President, Cecil Wilson:
It doesn’t solve the Medicare mess Congress has created with a long series of short-term Medicare patches over the last decade—-including four to avert the 2010 cut alone.
Duh … Welcome to government-run health care, doctor! Government health care is political health care. If you don’t want medicine politicized, your organization has to stop enabling those brain-donors inside the Beltway to get more and more control over the system.