Critical Condition

Did Senator Reid Finally Read the Bill?

Congressional Quarterly has produced a July 21 letter from Sen. Harry Reid to Secretary of Health and Human Service Kathleen Sebelius. In it, Reid complains that Obamacare’s cuts to Medicare will “result in a net reduction in payment to Nevada’s hospitals when they are unable to absorb such a cut.” Furthermore, he questions the method used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to calculate the payments to hospitals, and he is “very concerned about potential effects on beneficiary access if this regulation is finalized without adjustment.”

Did Senator Reid finally read the bill, almost four months after passing it and a year after masses of Americans began to demand that Congress do so?

A week after Senator Reid wrote his letter, the Government Accountability Office confirmed that 70 percent of Federally Qualified Health Centers already had costs that were higher than their reimbursements in 2004, a share that had been climbing since 1997.

Obamacare will wreak further havoc on these reimbursements, as Senator Reid would have known if he had read the CBO’s analysis of Obamacare before it passed. On March 20, the CBO estimated that the government would capture about half the cost of Obamacare through 2019 ($455 billion) by cutting back payments to hospitals and other Medicare providers.

Oh well. At least it’s not too late for Senator Reid to join the growing number of politicians advocating repealing and replacing Obamacare.


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