Friday, November 20, 2009

Quit Playing 'Keep Away' With My Medicare!

We used to play 'keep away' with Bacchus all the time. When he grabbed the bone or the ball, however, the game was over. He had it, he was keeping it and that was that.

I feel much the same way about my Medicare! It's an imperfect system to be sure, but I need it and sorely resent Congress playing games with it in the health care debate. Not Medicare in of itself, understand, but Doctor reimbursements. On top of already ridiculously low reimbursements they are facing another 21% cut!

The Republicans are fighting the Democrat's attempt to add $200 billion to the deficit, according to an AP article in the Spokesman Review, in order to eliminate more huge cuts in payments to Doctors. It's one thing in this mess of a bill I would support!

The Republicans claim it's payback to the AMA for supporting the bill. The Democrats say "It's the right thing to do." I have little doubt it's both.

With all the areas in which deficit cuts can be made, this should not be one of them. Unless, of course, the idea that seniors are expendable is true. I, of course, resent that assumption. Remember none of them will have to live under Medicare.

Let's look at reality here. I have a Doctor who accepts Medicare patients. She advertises for new patients every week in the local paper. With all the seniors in the area needing a Doctor, one might wonder why. My guess is it's the way she handles her practice. When I go to see her I have 15 minutes. Period. I've learned to deal with that though I often have more than one issue I'd like to discuss. Fifteen minutes. Check the watch. Uh, that's it. Next time.

Most of us have better things to do with our time than to keep running to the Doctor. Especially if you live some distance away, as I do. So ailments I can live with get back benched. In the back of my mind is the nagging thought, "I hope it's an ailment I can 'live' with."

Here's the thing. I can go in and find no one other than myself in the waiting room. I then leave after my fifteen minutes, or less, and still no one occupies the waiting room. Why couldn't I have had twenty minutes and saved myself another trip? Is it because with the ridiculously small reimbursement she gets for that office visit, fifteen minutes is all it pays for? I would guess so.

You know what I would like to see? I'd like to see this handled separately from the overhaul. But then I'd like to see a lot of the issues handled separately from the overhaul. There are too many variants to be lumped together. The bill may pass but it will fail.

So may my health and well being. Unfortunately, unlike Bacchus and his Booda Bone, I may have my Medicare now, but two players are trying to take it away, each in their own way. I guess the next game we try will be 'tug of war'!

1 comment:

Word Tosser said...

Sure would be nice if we could cut the wages of the Congressmen/women by 21% as well...