Every Republican complains about spending. One establishment Republican is even running an ad promising to “castrate” D.C. spending. Yet few of them are committed to blocking a new spending increase, much less roll back existing programs. Today, House leaders brought a bill to the floor that will increase spending. They didn’t have enough votes to pass it, so they decided to ram it through by voice vote.
Every year, due to the lack of free-market healthcare for seniors, Congress must supplement payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients. Government intervention into the healthcare market has precipitated such inflationary pressure in the healthcare sector that the government reimbursement rate, known as the SGR formula, is insufficient to cover the costs of Medicare payments. In order to rectify the situation, instead of passing free-market Medicare reform, Congress passes a temporary fix (doc fix) every year to reimburse doctors for the underpayments, which are roughly 24 percent of their payments.
After failing to adopt the annual temporary “doc fix” last December, the House passed a bill two weeks ago that will permanently boost payments and pay for the increased spending by tying it to a long-term delay of the individual mandate in Obamacare. H.R. 4015, the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act, passed the House with 12 Democrats joining every Republican in the chamber. This bill actually used a legitimate offset to end this charade of temporary fixes until we can finally impose free market structural reforms on the single-payer Medicare system.
After Senate Democrats balked at the proposal, Republicans decided to give in and pass a temporary extension. They used a hodgepodge of tenuous offsets spread out mainly over the next 5-10 years to compensate for an immediate expense that will undoubtedly reoccur every year under the 10-year budget frame…
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