One reason Medicare costs keep rising is that planned economy measures keep getting overridden. Physicians treating Medicare patients face a 27 percent cut in fees in 2013 unless Congress again overrides the law.
12 percent of the Medicare budget, or $67.6 billion, goes to doctors. Congress passed a law in 1997 mandating reductions in doctors’ fees to put a brake on Medicare costs, but has routinely overridden it ever since in a legislative maneuver known as the “doc fix.”
If the “doc fix” is not repeated, the reduced payments to Medicare doctors are expected to save $11 billion in fiscal 2013. If the override votes continue, it is expected to add $316 billion to the federal deficit over 10 years.
Today’s infographic spells out the “doc fix” story. We know Medicare facts are complex and we’ve tried to deliver them as clearly and fairly as we can. Let us know what you think in the discussion thread below. Do you think Americans understand enough about how Medicare works? What other facets would you like Face the Facts USA to tackle?