Date: Fri, 5 Mar 2010 05:17:24
Last year I emailed most of my friends, colleagues, and family about an egregiously erroneous statement by President Obama about orthopaedic surgeons being paid 30,00, 40,000, or 50,000 dollars for an amputation. Please watch the following link to see what he said. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIVieMfb2SI. Talk about the "Audacity of Hope." How about the audacity of his lies which are so easily verifiable.
As I said before, we as surgeons, are reimbursed between 700 and 1200 dollars from medicare for an amputation. That includes the surgery, postoperative care in the hospital and 90 days care after the surgery.
At first, I thought that he was just making a serious mistake in his understanding about how much medical procedures are reimbursed, but now I think it was a calculated move to drum up support to allow accumulated cuts in medicare payments to take effect. As of March 1st, there is a planned cut of medicare reimbursement of 21% to physicians for services rendered to medicare patients. There is lot of parlaying going on in the senate to see if this is really going to take place. In fact, it sounds like it is going to be postponed for a few weeks while it is debated. If you want to know what happens if this cut is implemented, just ask me. Most insurance companies usually follow suit with what medicare does.
Let me tell you that I strongly believe that government must cut spending. I have not joined in with my orthopaedic and spine PACs to try and change the medicare cuts. I am fine if they cut medicare spending by decreasing reimbursements to physicians by 21%, but I also expect the federal government to cut their payments to hospitals, physical therapists, drug companies, and then start cutting back on every other entitlement program. And they also must enact tort reform so I don't have to pay 90,000 dollars a year for liability insurance. Unfortunately, physicians represent a smaller "special interest" group than others, so we will take the hits first.
Please feel free to share this utube link and email with any of your friends or acquaintances. If this new health care program goes through, it will eventually be bankrupt just like social security and medicare.
Clyde T. Carpenter, MD
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