That was the first time that lobbying groups successfully convinced Congress that the payment revision for that year (-4.8%) would mean doctors would drastically reduce their Medicare patient panels as a result.
Poof. Cut. Gone.
Now, thanks to many such delays since then, the scheduled cut to physician Medicare rates on January 1, 2013, had been projected at a ludicrous 26.5%. The most recent "fiscal cliff" budget deal has again put off that cut until January 1, 2014, and it will likely never take effect again, even though it remains law.
Given how well they have handled the general budget, the deficit, and the national debt, removing Congress permanently from the process of making decisions regarding Medicare payment might be just the thing to get some control over the healthcare cost monster. If only it were so easy.
Let's remember for a minute: IPAB doesn't yet exist and both the AMA and AHA supported the passage of the Affordable Care Act. While the groups concede the cost problem, they fight like mad to make sure the costs don't come at their members' expense. They shouldn't be expected to do anything else.