It matters to the senior who needs to get an appointment with a medical specialist, but is told by one receptionist after another that the doctor isn't taking any new Medicare patients; because Medicare has been slashed to pay for Obamacare.NPR's health reporter debunks, with some help from the professor of public health policy at the University of Chicago, Harold Pollack.
"Not true," says Harold Pollack, a professor of public health policy at the University of Chicago. "I'm honestly rather baffled at the arguments that Governor Romney is making."Now, there may be some doctors who would use this as an excuse to stop taking Medicare patients, and Rovner points out that the Romney campaign is basing this claim in part on a survey of doctors done in 2010 in which 30 percent said they'd stop taking new Medicare patients because of the law. And, she points out, "the survey had a response rate of only 2.4%, and more than two-thirds of those who responded started out with a self-described negative view of the law."
Now it is true that the law envisions reductions in Medicare. And some of that money will help pay for the rest of the law. And there are problems in some places with doctors not being willing to accept Medicare patients. But those two things aren't actually connected.
What's got Medicare doctors more worried now than anything is the political football that Republicans in Congress have made of the "doc fix," the annual exercise by Congress that prevents reimbursement rates for Medicare plummet. Since the GOP took the House, it has ended up being among the hostages regularly taken by Republicans. And the uncertainty does cause some doctors to decide to stop taking new patients.
But you've got to give Romney credit for creativity and his astounding ability to pack lies within larger lies. He's a master at that.