GOP “Fix” for Doctors Advances Obamacare

April 8, 2015

 
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Ask the U.S. Senate to VOTE NO on the “doc fix” bill. Senators return Monday, April 13 with plans to pass it. Call your Senator today and say, “H.R. 2 supports Obamacare. Don’t pass the bill.”

 
H.R. 2 will end the annual threat of Medicare cuts to doctors due to a 1997 Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) law that “automatically trims physician reimbursement rates if and when medical costs rise faster than overall economic growth.” Over the years, Congress has passed 17 bills to avoid the cuts. H.R. 2 repeals the SGR law and stops a 21% cut.
 
However, Nancy Pelosi and President Obama love this bill.
 
Here are six reasons why:
 
1) OBAMACARE STRENGTHENED – Jason Furman, chairman of Obama’s White House-based Council of Economic Advisers spoke to the Center for American Progress (the group that helped write Obamacare), and said: H.R.2 “is going to offer us even more tools to expand the same types of new payment models that we put in place in the Affordable Care Act.”
 
2) PHYSICIANS PAID TO COMPLY - A new Merit-based Incentive Payment system (MIPS) will measure doctors from 0 to 100 based on compliance with Obamacare’s quality, resource use and clinical improvement provisions and Obama’s 2009 Recovery Act “meaningful use” of interoperable electronic health records mandate. Doctors with low compliance receive pay cuts of up to 9% by 2022. But no one knows how to measure doctor “performance,” so federal bureaucrats will make it up to suit their control agenda.
 
3) DOCTORS PRESSURED TO RATION – Doctors can choose an “Alternative Payment Model” instead of MIPS. Like Obamacare ACOs (Accountable Care Organizations), a group of doctors can accept a lump sum payment to care for a group of patients.  Doctors that meet government “quality metrics” keep any leftover cash. This puts doctors at financial risk – they act as the insurer – and in conflict of interest with patients. Will doctors cut care to conserve cash? Will customized care be cut? Will costly patients be pushed to seek care elsewhere? Expect it. Congress is counting on doctors to ration care.
 
4) MANDATORY DATA SHARING – To access patient data used to impose controls on doctors, the bill states: “Congress declares it a national objective to achieve widespread exchange of health information through interoperable certified EHR technology nationwide by December 31, 2018.” (Section 106 (b)) The bill also prohibits blocking of access to patient data, essentially forcing every electronic health record company to become a public utility for nationwide data-sharing.
 
5) FUNDS OBAMACARE HOME-VISITING – H.R. 2 includes $800 million for government home-visiting programs. Former Congressman Henry Hyde (R) called this program “cradle to grave tracking.” Unsuspecting parents of newborns are offered home visits. They accept, but do not realize that the visitor is a government worker evaluating the family for child abuse and documenting details about the family and the home. Obamacare had $1.5 billion for home visiting.
 
6) FUNDS OBAMACARE ENROLLMENT PUSH - H.R. 2 would extend funding for the Obamacare Community Health Centers fund, which is slated to end this year. The bill includes $8 billion for health centers. Since 2013, HHS has issued grants to health centers totaling $216 million specifically for “raising awareness of affordable insurance options and providing eligibility and enrollment assistance to uninsured patients of health centers.”
 
Pavlovian controls give students a reason to forgo medicine as a career and physicians a reason to disappear into retirement.
 
Republicans should help senior citizens escape this mandatory program and young citizens avoid it. Let’s change the law to let Americans leave Medicare and keep private insurance for life. It’s long past time to provide this needed protection.
 
Twila Brase, RN, PHN
President and Co-founder