A Federal Reserve survey shows the U.S. economy held steady during the 16-day partial government shutdown, growing moderately in most regions from October through late November.More >>
A Federal Reserve survey released Wednesday found that the U.S. economy held steady during the 16-day partial government shutdown, growing moderately in most regions from October through late November.More >>
Thursday, October 17 2013 4:40 PM EDT2013-10-17 20:40:19 GMT
(RNN) - By passing a last-minute deal on the debt ceiling, and a 16 days-late deal on the government shutdown, Congress finally got back to doing its job. So, what now? Some people may see it as the timeMore >>
With a budget passed only until January, a debt ceiling deal through February and a bunch of days off for Congress until then, the country may be back in the same situation soon.More >>
Thursday, October 17 2013 5:27 AM EDT2013-10-17 09:27:22 GMT
A last-minute deal has been struck, allowing the federal government to avoid a shutdown. A shutdown would have suspended all federal government services deemed non-essential. All federally-funded museums,More >>
Congress has passed a bill to fund the government and lift the debt ceiling, avoiding default. More >>
Sunday, October 13 2013 6:52 PM EDT2013-10-13 22:52:24 GMT
WASHINGTON, DC (RNN) - Despite the WWII Memorial being closed, members of the Million Vet March have gathered in Washington, DC to protest the government shutdown – according to media reports. "We do notMore >>
Veterans gathered at the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC to protest the government shutdown.More >>
Saturday, October 12 2013 10:44 PM EDT2013-10-13 02:44:59 GMT
People nationwide have been unable to access welfare benefits through their EBT cards Saturday. Reports on the matter indicated the issue has no connection to the government shutdown.More >>
Xerox, which handles EBT systems in several states, said Saturday night the problem that prevented people from using their cards to shop has now been corrected. More >>
(RNN) - Perhaps one of the most unknown consequences of jumping off the fiscal cliff is the possible enforcement of the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, controlled by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, enacted a stipulation several years ago intended to prevent too many people from going onto Medicare. In order to do so, Medicare officials began cutting Medicare pay rates to physicians by between 0.5 and 1 percent.
These cuts, however, never went into effect thanks to a so-called "Doc Fix" in which physicians continued to be paid at the current rate. If the country goes off the fiscal cliff, it's possible the Doc Fix cuts would go into place all at once. Consequently, doctors would experience about a 27 percent cut in what Medicare will pay.
Very few people, if any, want the SGR formula cuts to take place. If doctors are not getting fully reimbursed by Medicare, fewer will accept patients using Medicare. And the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, a federal body that advises Congress on Medicare issues, has told lawmakers that the SGR formula is hurtful to the healthcare system.
In a recent letter to Congress last year, MEDPAC told lawmakers that the SGR is "fundamentally flawed and is creating instability in the Medicare program for providers and beneficiaries."
As a result, elderly patients depending on Medicare will most likely have a hard time finding a physician. And since many of these patients are elderly, many of them depend on effective healthcare.
The cuts may be a necessity for the success for the White House-backed Affordable Care Act. Commonly referred to as Obamacare, the healthcare plan is dependent on these cuts in order to properly fund it.
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