Congress has been having its problems as we all know. I believe as citizens we are often fairly ignorant about what is really going on. Such is the existence of H.R. 4851; “The Continuing Extension Act of 2010.” This is a bill that could cause some problems for some of us.
Beginning in 2010 there has been under H.R. 4851, “The Continuing Extension Act of 2010”. For years some doctors have been offering health coverage in a losing battle. Over time the cost of providing coverage has risen to the point where it was costing doctors 21.2 percent to provide coverage. Congress decided to “fix” this with H.R 4851. The problem was they did it on a temporary basis from “time to time.”
For example they would just fund the differential for a period of 60 days.
Why is this such a bad situation and so dangerous for those of us covered under Medicare/Medicaid?
My wife is having surgery. We went to the doctor for a consultation. Upon arriving at the physician’s office we were presented with a letter. This letter advised us that H.R. 4851 was supposed to have been renewed March 31st. It had not been. Therefore Medicare had opted to hold off processing claims for a few days in hopes the problem would be fixed. It wasn’t so they began processing claims April 15th at the reduced rate. Ultimately H.R. 4851 was renewed to June 2nd.
My wife was advised in the letter that if the government did not “fix” the situation there was no way they could afford to operate and they would not be able to accept government patients.
As a result of this I have a lot of questions.
Medicare/Medicaid is government insurance. Under the new health reform are doctors required to take all patients? The doctors indicate that the cost differential isn’t based on fees (those are fixed) rather they are based on hard overhead costs. If that is true then by funding this differential isn’t there going to have to be a “day of reckoning?” Where does that leave us?
In a discussion with our doctor’s benefits administrator I learned that the AMA only represents about 31 percent of our country’s physicians. If they are split like that isn’t there a major problem brewing?
My wife and I are just “regular people.” We want to enjoy our grand-kids and each other. We are not “deep thinkers.” We want to be able to count on the health care system. For 60-plus years we have been able to.
However, the more the government gets involved it seems the more problems.
Peoria Ear, Nose and Throat, “Open Letter to all P.E.N.T. Patients Covered by Medicare/Medicaid, April 2010