The Nevada News Bureau catches Dingy Harry fibbing to voters about Demcare math and reduced doctor reimbursements.
It is now old news that Senator Harry Reid extolled the virtues of his health care bill before a packed house at UNLV’s Judy Bailey Theater in Las Vegas last Thursday night. Reid said the bill would help Nevada more than almost any other state and cited a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis that estimated the bill would reduce the nation’s deficit by $132 billion over 10 years.
What was not reported is that when a Reid was asked about the cuts to Medicare on which the CBO’s estimates of savings were based, he denied any such cuts exist in his bill and added, “The doctors endorsed our bill because they know that we’re going to do something to take care of them. The AMA endorsed our bill.”
Reid’s statement Thursday night seems to contradict page 18 of the CBO analysis of the Senate health care reform bill which states, “Under current law and under the proposal, payment rates for physicians’ services in Medicare would be reduced by about 21 percent in 2010 and then decline further in subsequent years.”
By all accounts, reversing these reductions would be extremely expensive. A resolution to eliminate the cuts that passed the House last year was estimated by the CBO to cost $210 billion over 10 years, an amount far exceeding the CBO’s estimated $132 billion savings of Reid’s health care reform bill.
The original Senate health care bill did contain a provision (Section 3101, p. 783) that would have replaced the 21% cut to reimbursements to doctors in 2010 with a 0.5% increase in Medicare’s physician reimbursements that year. It then provided for even greater cuts in 2011. But the manager’s amendment that was added to the bill by Senator Reid the week before Christmas repealed that provision and restored the original cuts for 2010 (Sec 10310, p. 2191).
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