Barack Obama Has the Last Word on the Medicare “Doc Fix”

On April 15, President Obama signed the so-called Medicare “doc fix,” a bill that I previously warned would recruit Republicans onto Obamacare’s B-Team. I had also hoped that they would reject the bill, especially after Medicare’s Chief Actuary delivered an even harsher verdict on its consequences than the Congressional Budget Office had. Unfortunately, massive majorities of Democrats and Republicans in both the House and Senate voted to increase deficits by $141 billion in 10 years and half a trillion dollars in 20 years.

During the three-week period the secretly negotiated “doc fix” legislation was being rushed through Congress (“rushed” because the Senate was in recess for most of it), I wrote an article suggesting Republicans who voted for it might be casting their first vote for Obamacare.

Well, don’t take my word for it.

Now that he’s signed the bill, President Obama has hosted a fabulous garden party for the politicians who voted for it. Yahoo has the whole story, including a photo of House Speaker John Boehner planting a bipartisan kiss on the cheek of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

One of my charges was that the law increased federal control of the practice of medicine, extending a key element of Obamacare. Here’s what the president had to say about that:

“I shouldn’t say this with John Boehner here, but that’s one way that this legislation builds on the Affordable Care Act,” Obama said, adding, “But let’s put that aside for a second.”

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For the pivotal alternative to Obamacare, please see the Independent Institute’s widely acclaimed book: Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis, by John C. Goodman.

John R. Graham is a former Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute.
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