Doctors, insurers split over Medicare

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Jul 9, 2008
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Doctors, insurers split over Medicare

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Jul 9, 2008
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TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: The U.S. Senate will grapple today with what to do about Medicare. Doctors’ fees could be slashed by more than 10 percent as part of a cost-cutting move passed by Congress about a decade ago. Some doctors are threatening to stop seeing Medicare patients if the cuts take effect. Nancy Marshall Genzer has more.


Nancy Marshall Genzer: Senate Democrats want to block the cuts in doctors fees. They’d rather reduce subsidies to insurance companies to cut Medicare costs. Insurers have fought back with TV ads.

Health TV ads: Millions of seniors will have to pay higher out of pocket costs.

But doctors have also taken to the airwaves. Their ads are aimed at Republicans, who’ve sided with insurers.

Health TV ads: A group of U.S. senators voted to protect the powerful insurance companies.

Joseph Antos of the American Enterprise Institute says Congress bickers over this every year — usually voting not to cut doctors’ fees.

Joseph Antos: Congress needs to realize it can’t keep kicking this problem down the road one year at a time.

Doctor Richard Brown of the UCLA school of public health says while Congress dithers over the fee issue:

Doctor Richard Brown: Ultimately, it’s the patient who will lose out if those fees do not increase.

In Washington, I’m Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.

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