Thursday, October 22, 2009

'Doc Buy' Fails as Physician Support for Health Care Overhaul Wanes - Shadow Bill Concealing $247 Billion in Health Costs Defeated

'Doc Buy' Fails as Physician Support for Health Care Overhaul Wanes - Shadow Bill Concealing $247 Billion in Health Costs Defeated in Critical Senate Vote

/Standard Newswire/ -- Patients First, A Project of Americans for Prosperity(tm) is praising the U.S. Senate's bipartisan rejection of the $247 billion so-called "Doc Fix" bill (S.1776) by a 53-47 margin.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had attempted to hastily force the bill through the Senate to
simultaneously purchase the support of doctors in the larger health care legislative battle, while concealing the full cost of the health overhaul in a shadow bill.

Leader Reid had abruptly scheduled today's failed cloture vote to increase Medicare payments to doctors by $247 billion. The tricky tactic, which would also have required a vote to waive Senate budget rules, raised criticism since it would conceal the total cost of the health care plan being considered in Congress by splitting the overhaul into two separate bills. The Senate Finance Committee recently voted for a $904 billion plan, but the addition of this $247 billion bill would have pushed the total cost of the overhaul to well over $1.1 trillion, violating the White House's
pledge to keep the health care plan deficit neutral.

"The 53 Senators that voted against this hastily-crafted backroom health care deal deserve credit," said Phil Kerpen, policy director of Patients First. "Leader Reid's attempt to use outright deception and trickery to conceal the true costs of the attempted Washington takeover of health care has failed. Americans have the right to know the details of how government-forced health care would impact their access to quality affordable health care. Transparency and open debate, not backroom deals and legislative gimmicks, offer us a way forward towards real health care

The "Doc Fix" bill's defeat spells further trouble for the Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats as they court critical support from doctors for the controversial health care overhaul. A recent IBD/TIPP Poll of nearly 1,400 doctors found that two-thirds of
physicians oppose the reforms proposed by Congress. 45 percent of doctors said that enactment
would force them to consider retiring or abandoning their practice, and 67 percent anticipated fewer medical school applicants. Meanwhile, 65 percent of doctors believed that the plan would lead to lower-quality care for seniors and 71 percent said that it was impossible for government to insure 47 million more Americans while cutting costs and providing better quality care.

"America's doctors cannot be bribed into supporting legislation that will restrict patient choice, increase bureaucracy, defund Medicare for seniors, and drive costs so high that middle class taxpayers suffer," said Phil Kerpen. "Our nation's physicians want to care for their patients, and government should not stand in the way of the sacred doctor-patient relationship."

Patients First, A Project of Americans for Prosperity(tm), is focused on real health care reform--reform that puts patients first. Patients First believes that Americans want and need more health insurance options--not just a costly, government-defined plan paid for by American taxpayers.

Patients First is a project of Americans for Prosperity® (AFP), a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization recognized by the IRS. AFP is the nation's premier grassroots organization committed to advancing every individual's right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP has more than 700,000 members, including members in all 50 states, and 25 state chapters. Patients First is not affiliated in any way with Patient First health clinics. For more information on Patients First, go to (

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