Health Care: A Penny-Wise, Pound Foolish Doc-Fix

February 17, 2012
by Merrill Goozner
The Fiscal Times


Would you sell your home’s storm doors to pay for this winter’s heating bills? That’s what Congress did Friday to pay for part of a 10-month “doc fix.”

Friday’s payroll tax cut extension bill included $18 billion to maintain Medicare physician salaries at current levels for the rest of this year. Unlike the payroll tax extension, Congress insisted on paying for the doc-fix with offsetting budget cuts.
They raised nearly a third of the money by cutting $5 billion from prevention programs initiated under the Affordable Care Act. The rest came from reduced payments to hospitals, nursing homes, and clinical labs, and reduced Medicaid payments to Louisiana.


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