Needles of Panic? White House Fears Rejection of Boehner-Pelosi-Obama Medicare “Doc Fix”John R. Graham • Monday April 6, 2015 8:46 AM PST •
The White House is starting to lose confidence that the Senate will uncritically swallow the Boehner-Pelosi-Obama so-called Medicare “doc fix”.
According to The Hill, the Obama administration is pleading with the Senate to pass the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) immediately after the Senate reconvenes on April 13. If not, the bill stalls, the administration will have to start processing doctors’ claims at a significantly lower rate of payment on April 15.
This pressure mirrors that of Obamacare supporters such as AARP and the American Hospital Association, which are lobbying hard toward the same goal: recruiting Republican legislators onto Obamacare’s B-Team by getting them to vote for this perpetual extension of the current Medicare payment system, which Obamacare made worse by centralizing decisions about “quality” and “value” in the federal government.
The White House and Obamacare’s allies had hoped to get a sleepy Senate to rush this bill through on March 26, right after members of the Senate had pulled an all-nighter on the budget resolution. Fortunately, enough Senators had concerns about the bill’s budget busting-spending that they delayed a potentially catastrophic vote, which would have sent the president a bill that he is eager to sign. It would lock in the Obamacare vision of Medicare forever.
Nevertheless, the Senate will have to act pretty quickly on April 13. There are much better policy options than those embraced in the current bill.
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