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Sat Aug 10, 2013, 03:42 PM

More Doctors Are Quitting Medicare. True, but more doctors are also accepting Medicare


The Wall Street Journal last month portrayed physician unhappiness with Medicare as a burning issue, with a cover story that detailed why many more doctors are opting out of the program.

And yes, the number of doctors saying no to Medicare has proportionately risen quite a bit -- from 3,700 doctors in 2009 to 9,539 in 2012. (And in some cases, Obamacare has been a convenient scapegoat.)

But that's only part of the story.

What the Journal didn't report is that, per CMS, the number of physicians who agreed to accept Medicare patients continues to grow year-over-year, from 705,568 in 2012 to 735,041 in 2013.

Comment by Don McCanne of PNHP: Since the beginning of Medicare, we have heard stories that doctors weren't going to take it anymore; they were going to drop out of Medicare. Some have, but it's a negligible number. Those who say that Obamacare is forcing more doctors to drop out of Medicare will have to explain to us how that computes with the fact that the numbers of physicians agreeing to accept Medicare has increased by almost 30,000 this year alone, for an all-time high of over 735,000.

What is more reassuring is the result of California Healthline's very small informal survey of physicians. They found out what most of us who have been in the profession for a few decades already knew - physicians feel ethically obligated to stick with Medicare. What do you think their ethicalsense would be under an improved Medicare program that covered everyone?

My comment: Well duh! Given the ageing of the population, not accepting Medicare would mean cutting yourself off from millions of patients over 65 who are only going to get more numerous.

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Reply More Doctors Are Quitting Medicare. True, but more doctors are also accepting Medicare (Original post)
eridani Aug 2013 OP
Thinkingabout Aug 2013 #1
freshwest Aug 2013 #2
TBA Aug 2013 #3

Response to eridani (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 04:24 PM

1. Thanks, I often wonder if complaining about Medicare and blaming Obamacare is just

A convenience of RW to continue to scare lots of seniors. I don't hear seniors complaining about being covered by Medicare. I also look at an aging population and wonder who are the physicians going to treat unless it is those covered by Medicare. Though Medicare is not perfect it is a helluva lots better than no insurance for seniors.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 05:29 PM

2. Doctors have been quitting Medicare since the GOP cut benefits in the Bush years.

It became the pariah of insurance in some regions like Medicaid, in states where the states made it unworkable. A great deal of that was Bush's doing. I watched up close as he cut billions of dollars out of Medicaid. People died from that and others had their lives shortened.

The RW narrative of Medicare being bad was created by what they did to it themselves. It was once as good as BCBS back in the days it was the cadillac of insurers. The GOP wanted to bankrupt Medicare and still want to destroy the rest of the safety net.

They are furious Obama has saved these programs, since the money goes to those they don't consider to be worthy to live. That's what this is about. They can all go to hell.

I've seen doctors demean new patients with only basic Medicare, lecturing them and saying they were 'doing them a favor and losing money' by taking them on. Just what a seriously ill person with no other resources needs to hear from their doctor.

They were jerks then and if they refuse Medicare now because of Obama, I say don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out of volume health care. Just run off and suck up to a millionaire. We got your number.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 05:55 PM

3. My Disabled Son has Medicare/Medicaid

And his Physician is considered the best in town. He has also able to see a specialist in another state that has an international reputation. I wish I had his access to heath care. As is I have to beg BCBS for everything not considered trivial.

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