NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

The "Doc Fix" Is In

July 22, 2016

In March 2015, an overwhelming bipartisan majority in Congress voted for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). The so-called "doc fix," a component of MACRA, was an attempt to fix the very flawed method Medicare uses to pay doctors and other health professionals. Unfortunately, MACRA is fiscally irresponsible and increases the federal government's control over how clinicians practice medicine, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham:

It is not paid for. Less than 4 percent of the increased spending authorized by MACRA is offset by other government spending cuts, resulting in an estimated $141 billion increase in the accumulated deficit over 10 years and $500 billion over 20 years, thus abandoning budget neutrality, a commitment previously made by both parties.

It significantly increases federal control of the practice of medicine. In line with the ambitions of Obamacare, clinicians will face increasing requirements to comply with federal regulations in order to get paid. These regulations will likely include greater reliance on government-certified Electronic Health Records, which have already proven to frustrate doctors and do nothing to benefit patient care, despite an investment of $30 billion taxpayer dollars.

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