FILIBUSTERS HAVE CONSEQUENCES
It turns out Sen. Bunning’s filibuster last week has now triggered a 21% cut in Medicare fees to doctors effective immediately. The AMA said the cut off risks a “meltdown” for seniors.
The American Medical Association warned of this last week: “A Medicare meltdown now seems certain, as the U.S. Senate has left early for the weekend, abandoning seniors, military families and baby boomers,” reads an AMA statement from Friday. “The Senate failed to repeal the Medicare physician payment formula that will cause a drastic 21 percent payment cut to physicians who care for Medicare and TRICARE patients. On Monday, the 21 percent cut goes into effect, forcing many physicians to limit the number of Medicare and TRICARE patients they see in order to keep their practice doors open.”
Today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had to force an end to debate on the confirmation of Barbara Keenan to the fourth circuit court of appeals. Keenan’s nomination is so non-controversial, that she was voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously. But hat one procedural delay will eat up over two days of floor time.
It’s unclear at this point whether the lost benefits and reimbursements can be retroactively restored.