The proposed cuts to Medicare spending, scheduled to start March 21 (Happy Spring!) with 21% cut in rates paid to doctors who treat Medicare patients is nothing more than healthcare rationing by elected officials.
The term elected officials is technically correct, but functionally generous. It implies being a leader, one who was elected to represent your community.
However, in this initiative led by Rep. Paul Ryan R- WI and the GOP, the function of this initiative is to serve merely as a bureaucrat and ration the amounts paid for healthcare. Rationing the amounts paid for healthcare rations the amount of healthcare delivered.
I love irony. It's a bittersweet tease for the emotions or the intellect. Irony asks: Can you imagine...that?
And in this case there's a lot of irony and more bitter than sweet. You see, one of the great arguments offered by opponents of healthcare reform was the threat, ok, the fear that nameless/faceless government bureaucrats would ration healthcare based on an esoteric financial formula known only to them.
And yet here are the opponents of healthcare reform proudly and publicly offering cuts to Medicare payments as a solution for healthcare reform.
Doctors have already said they would stop seeing Medicare patients when that cut in Medicare payments goes into effect in a few weeks. That would result in only those patients who can afford private health insurance or supplementary Medicare insurance being able to afford doctor's visits. Given the high percentage of Medicare recipients who are senior citizens, on fixed incomes, fixed incomes to limited to allow for private health insurance, then the cuts would most cruelly be applied to those least able to afford the private free-market healthcare solutions offered by Mr. Ryan, Mr. Gingrich and their ilk.
And if further proposed cuts are offered in Medicare payments then the solution is that we just buy more insurance or pay more out of pocket expenses. Obviously, if we could, we would. Otherwise we would not turn to government run programs that are less efficient, right, gentlemen?
(See. There's another irony. These same opponents of healthcare reform say government run programs are so less efficient. Yet, Medicare needs only 3% of its budget to administer the program; private health insurance companies require 16 - 18% of our premiums to administer, or not, our benefits.)
But ,if doctors refuse to see Medicare patients because of their lower payments and private citizens who most need Medicare benefits are unable to afford the costs of private care then Mr. Ryan and his supporters have effectively rationed health care to be affordable only to themselves and their lobbyists and the wealthiest percentage of Americans.
Now, that's irony.
And they will become in the future the nameless, faceless government bureaucrats who rationed healthcare...to be affordable only to their financial supporters.