Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Gone But Not Forgotten: Medicare Cuts, Money for Docs

For or against the privatization of Medicare?
clipped from

Plans to slash payments to privately managed Medicare plans and also block pay cuts for doctors got left on the congressional cutting-room floor this week. But Speaker Nancy Pelosi (pictured) told Dow Jones yesterday that Democrats would take another whack at private Medicare plans later this year. “Do we want to stop the privatization of Medicare? The answer is ‘yes,’ ” she said.

Still, the Senate hasn’t been as eager to cut reimbursements for the private plans. But, like the House, the Senate wants to block planned cuts in Medicare’s reimbursements to physicians. A House plan to block those cuts, which are set to take effect next year, put the cost at $19 billion over five years. Trying to find that much Medicare money might be enough to make the Senate warm to the idea of cutting Medicare Advantage payments.

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