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One Senator Banning Blocks Medicare Cut and COBRA Bill – Unless Approved, MDs Get Cut and Unemployed Lose Benefits

Posted Feb 27 2010 11:52pm

One good thing about this senator, Jim Bunning, is the fact that he is retiring and perhaps not soon enough.  His big battle was not wanting to add to the deficit, but it’s there anyway for all to work on, so let’s dig a deeper grave here for the unemployed who are also someone’s patient and make life a little more difficult right now.  In addition when they get sick, there’ needs to be a physician who will see them and with the Medicare cuts and some of those individuals maybe getting close to qualify for Medicare, we are not accomplishing anything here.  image

We know the Medicare cut has come down to the wire every year with the same issue and does it get addressed during regular session, no.  Now look at the extra cost this has created by stalling.  CMS has to stop the claims and hold them for 10 days. Data systems need to be changed to adhere to the laws and I guess the “non participants” in Congress have not figured out what an expense this is. Sure they have new “algorithms” ready just in case, but we hope they don’t have to use them.  If the cuts are not stopped, by law the IT folks at CMS have to adjust the algorithms for payment and that mean cuts. 

We are once again back to my favorite word here as you can see.  We sleep, algorithms run 24/7 and process health care claims.  Ask Wall Street about that and there’s a new movie in the making about this topic as that is what runs Wall Street to day, “the algorithms” ask any broker and they will tell you so as that’s how they make money through robotic software that runs the algorithms for them. 

It’s getting tough around Washington being a non participant without some tech knowledge these days and one more Congressman said he’s going to retire, Representative John Linder of Georgia, a Republican.  So far we have had 20 Republicans announce retirement and 14 Democrats.  It’s getting hot in the oven in Washington and it doesn’t work the way it did in the 70s.  When decisions are stalled and indecision is ruling – IT COSTS MONEY.  The easy ride is over and now Congress needs to create laws that work with technology and it’s not easy and again requires some technology background or an effort to learn.  image

I see huge levels here with distraction as well when I read today about John McCain wanting to control dietary supplements and give the FDA the authority to administrate.  Fine and dandy perhaps and worth discussion, but do you have to distract yourself from the urgent matter at hand to bring this up now.  Can it go on the agenda after Healthcare reform is done?   Is he retiring too, maybe he might give that some thought or work on multi tasking with a little less distraction and stop being as disruptive and stay on course.  We all know he has had government insurance coverage all his life so perhaps this seems to be less of an urgent matter for him, but millions of others don’t have the benefit, self included. 

Here let’s take a look at another scary Congressman and shown on the Rachel Maddow show.  Again we are back to “me”, “myself” and “I” being the best friends of some in office today.  This one, Rep. Steven King, voted against help for Katrina, so do you think healthcare reform has a chance with his vote? 

At this point from what I see and hear, and I look at voting records too not just media, we are in a world of hurt here, not only from the knowledge side of things but their gilded perception as well. 

If they were to pass the law, then CMS would not be jumping through hoops right now, Cobra folks would still have benefits and doctors would not have to be immediately rethinking how they are going to continue to do business.   I hope both matters are cleared and passed soon.  Again what the old school does not understand is the fact that it not only inconveniences everyone (those who work in CMS and other areas as well as patients and doctors) – it does exactly what they state they are trying to prevent – spending money.  The lack of participation and perhaps a missing understanding on how decisions and laws impact government and the rest of us with the influence of technology certainly seems to be showing a bit of of ugly face that you just can’t miss. 

We wouldn’t be hearing and viewing some of the “soap opera” type of battles, and gee, some of the untimely or otherwise somewhat inappropriate words we are surrounded with today that do nothing but frustrate and keep others from moving forward could certainly be stuffed in can as well, it is not doing anybody any good.  BD  

Washington (CNN) -- The Senate adjourned Friday without approving extensions of cash and health insurance benefits for the unemployed after a lone senator blocked swift passage due to his insistence that Congress first pay for the $10 billion package.

Retiring Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Kentucky, led a spirited Senate debate with Democrats over the issue -- at one time cursing at another senator on the floor. Bunning said he doesn't oppose extending the programs -- he just doesn't want to add to the deficit.

Starting Monday, the jobless will no longer be able to apply for federal unemployment benefits or the COBRA health insurance subsidy.  In addition to funding unemployment insurance and the COBRA health insurance program for people who have lost their jobs, the bill would have prevented a scheduled 21 percent cut in Medicare payments to doctors.

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