My support for a single-payer system of health care has been made clear. On the other hand, as I've also said, strongly, I have no illusions about the potential for running good doctors out of the business, since, so far, the only major cuts in health care costs have come via lowering reimbursement to doctors and hospitals. The dangers of continuing that process are obvious, and are taking place already. To some extent, I'm an example, as I had to work harder and harder -- to the point of irreversible burnout -- to maintain income. Beyond the financial there was both a physical and psychological toll: at no point was there recognition of the superior care I was delivering -- it simply didn't matter. Each year, reimbursement declined irrespective of my results, my costs, my efforts. (Trust me on the "superior care" claim. Or if not, believe there are docs doing a better job than others, with nothing to show for it.)
"...Last night, the Senate failed to pass a series of extensions that included a temporary halt to the 21.2 percent cut in Medicare physician payments. As a result, the cut will go into effect on Monday, March 1st. Earlier yesterday, the House successfully passed the extensions package by voice vote that would have maintained the current conversion factor of $36.0666 through March 28th. However, with Congress currently adjourned, the Senate will have to again attempt to pass an extensions package sometime next week. The length of the temporary extension is unclear at this point, but we do expect it to provide only short-term relief from the 21.2 percent cut and be retroactive to March 1st..."