Friday, November 27, 2009

LoBiondo cuts Medicare Doctor Reimbursements, hopes everyone forgets.

Here's an interesting November 19, 2009 press release from Frank LoBiondo saying "LoBiondo Supports Protecting Local Doctors from Cuts to Medicare Payments":

“For the past seven years, I’ve supported efforts to protect our doctors and their staffs from scheduled Medicare reimbursement cuts, which in the end would affect the care they are able to give their patients. Today, I voted for a plan that would prevent the scheduled doctors’ reimbursement cuts, would not add to the deficit, and would ensure future South Jersey seniors are not shouldering the costs. Regrettably, it was not the bill that was approved by the full House today,” said LoBiondo.

What's interesting about this? It's not just that LoBiondo voted against getting rid of the cuts, after all, the press release is clear enough. It's not that he claims to have voted for a Republican alternative, when there was no such roll-call vote that day. No, those are all in a days work.

The impressive bit of hypocrisy is that the cuts are due to the "Balanced Budget Act of 1997" (H.R. 2015) which, of course, Frank LoBiondo and his Republican colleagues made law. These cuts are entirely his creation! When the Republican party actually cared about deficits -- at least the name of the 1997 law says they did -- they created a "Sustainable Growth Rate" formula which would have reduced the deficit by paying doctors less. Whether it's a good idea or not, I don't know, but it is the law thanks to Frank LoBiondo's 1997 votes, whatever press release he sends out in 2009.

Sadly, we can expect that no reporter will ever notice the contradiction.