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Secret Obamacare Negotiations Enter Day 7 – The Fix is in

Posted By Brian Darling On October 20, 2009 @ 11:34 am In Obamacare | Comments Disabled

As the secret Obamacare negotiations enter Day 7, word has leaked from the meeting that the White House and Senate leaders have ordered Congress to pass a $247 billion dollar payoff to doctors groups for their support of comprehensive health care reform. The Fix is in – Doc Fix that is.

The Hill [1] Reports:

The White House and Democratic leaders are offering doctors a deal: They’ll freeze cuts in Medicare payments to doctors in exchange for doctors’ support of health care reform.

As a result of the order, the Senate is preparing debate on a bill called “Doc Fix,” which would freeze cuts in Medicare payments to doctors for the next 10 years as a means to ease passage of Obamacare later this Fall. The version of “Doc Fix” was originally part of the Obamacare plan and the secret negotiators wanted to take $247 billion off the books of President Obama’s heath care legislation. The left would like to pass this bill, with or without offsets, so they can buy support for a public plan from a group, and a lobbying interest, that has opposed [2] a government takeover of health care and the creation of a public plan.

The Hill story goes on to describes a meeting between lobbyists for doctors, the Obama Administration and Senate Leaders. They allegedly offered the passage of the “Doc Fix” bill for doctor’s support of an Obamacare bill. The American people should be outraged that they are excluded from secret negotiations [3] on Obamacare, yet the interest group that represents the doctors are being provided a $247 billion pay off to support the Senate version of Obamacare.

More from the Hill [1] on who was involved in the scheme:

At a meeting on Capitol Hill last week with nearly a dozen doctors groups, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the Senate would take up separate legislation to halt scheduled Medicare cuts in doctor payments over the next 10 years. In return, Reid made it clear that he expected their support for the broader healthcare bill, according to four sources in the meeting.

Also in the meeting were: Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.); Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.); White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel; Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag; and Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the White House healthcare office.

“They said they’re going to need our help in getting healthcare reform over the goal line and they expect our support,” said a participant who represents doctors. “Reid, Baucus and Dodd. All three said the same thing: They want and expect our support.”

The lobbyists for the doctor’s groups have been asked to support Obamacare for the top item on their Congressional wish list, but there is a high price to pay. Heritage Foundation fellow Bob Moffit [4] says this “it has now become clear that the lobbyists for organized medicine do not do a good job representing the nation’s physicians. The reason is clear. The Congressional leadership wants to create another government run health plan with payment rates tied to Medicare rates, rates well below those of the private sector. Every independent analyst has estimated that a government plan would crowd-out existing private coverage, meaning that millions more Americans would get health care from physicians at Medicare-level rates. So, while ‘helping’ the doctors by ‘fixing’ Medicare payment update formula, thus paving the way for passage their giant health care bills, the Congressional leadership dramatically expands its direct control over physician payment through a new government plan. This is obviously not a good deal for physicians, regardless how they may feel about the shortcomings of existing Medicare payment system. It gives new meaning to the fine old phrase ‘penny wise and pound foolish.’”

Some on the right have renamed this “Doc Fix” legislation as “Doc Payoff” or “Doc Bailout” because the timing is clearly being dictated from the secret negotiations in the Capitol over Obamacare. These negotiations are not transparent as reported in Human Events [5], “The president promised in his campaign he’d deliver transparency, saying, “I’m going to have all the negotiations around a big table” with everybody involved. Those that can’t make it would be able to see “the negotiations televised on C-SPAN.” Not only are these secret negotiations not on C-SPAN, nor open to the public, the secret negotiations have born some billion dollar fruit.


Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/10/20/secret-obamacare-negotiations-enter-day-7-%e2%80%93-the-fix-is-in/

URLs in this post:

[1] The Hill: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/63811-reid-offers-docs-a-deal

[2] opposed: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/11/us/politics/11health.html

[3] secret negotiations: http://www.foundry.org/2009/10/19/secret-obamacare-negotiations-enter-day-6/

[4] Bob Moffit: http://www.heritage.org/about/staff/RobertMoffit.cfm

[5] Human Events: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=34014

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