Bad Medicine: the $400 Billion SGR Doc Fix Bill

Originally posted by Daniel Horowitz for Conservative Review.

This week, the GOP-led House of Representatives will take two major legislative actions before breaking for Easter/Passover. Only in Washington can this weekly outlook be believable.

On Wednesday, House Republicans will likely pass a 10-year balanced budget, which contains a solid, yet imperfect, plan to downsize the federal government. The following day they will pass a massive new health care spending bill together with Democrats, saddling taxpayers with a $400 billion tab over the next 20 years.

Here’s the kicker: the balanced budget will be a non-binding resolution that Republicans will never stand behind during the appropriations season; the “doc fix” spending bill (H.R. 2), on the other hand, will absolutely become law.

For more on the proposed “Doc Fix,” read: A Doc Fix that is Anything But

This legislative dynamic essentially sums up Republican governance over the past few decades. In word and campaign rhetoric they talk a good conservative game; in deed they join with Democrats to grow government.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is putting the finishing touches on the $210 billion health care spending plan, which would replace with current “SGR” federal reimbursement scheme for Medicare providers with a new system. Everyone agrees that under the current broken single-payer Medicare system costs have grown out of control and have engendered a need to better compensate health care providers for treating Medicare patients. However, it is better to pass a short-term rate increase with spending offsets than to pass a permanent bill that is not fully offset and contains no structural free market reforms to address the root cause of price inflation in Medicare.

Worse, this plan adds in a full two-year reauthorization of the SCHIP welfare program without any reforms, which as we noted, should be terminated altogether in light of the Medicaid expansion and Obamacare.

Read more here.

Follow Daniel @RMConservative and @CR


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