Medicare Still Pays Doctors Who Owe Back Taxes

Medicare Still Pays Doctors Who Owe Back Taxes

It seems to me that this is precisely the kind of issue sincere fiscal conservatives would jump on as low hanging fruit for improving government efficiency.

Imagine how captivating it would be for the GOP to publish a list of 100 missed opportunities for making the government more efficient, and running on a platform of tackling each one.

Author: PAUL SILVER

Born 1950, Married, Living in Austin Texas, Semi Retired Small Business owner and investor. My political interest evolved out of his business experience that the best decisions come out of an objective gathering of information and a pragmatic consideration of costs and benefits. I am interested in promoting Centrist candidates and Policies. My posts are mostly about people and policies that I believe are part of the solution rather the problem.

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8 Comments

  1. But these poor doctors are under attack by ambulance chasing Edwards type trial lawyers. So what if pharma pays them bags of cash to push drugs, both groups only have the patients interest…..

  2. It is sooo unnecessary to make every problem into a political issue.
    What needs to be done is to clean up Medicare and every other government program.
    Both parties in Congress are responsible for not demanding more audits and responsibility.
    It isn’t always a partisan issue, why make it one?

  3. domajot,

    From the Republican viewpoint trying to clean up a program would imply that it might be capable of working, rather than a candidate for elimination because the government can’t do anything right and is always the problem. Get your political message straight.

  4. Rudi,

    Drug companies do not give “bags of money” to physicians to push drugs. That would actually be unethical and a violation of the law.

    I suspect that the problem is that the billing is directly by the physician but the billing by a medical practice for services rendered by the tax delinquint physician.

    Since there are third parties involved, it would probably not be legal for the government to refuse to pay.

  5. Last time the gov. actually did anything about sloppiness/wasteful practices Al Gore was in charge of that job as Vice President. Gore in ’08 is my answer, and will remain the answer since nobody else ever intends to do anything but coddle power brokers behinds.

  6. SD Surely you jest, the pharmas are pushing the latest profit pills and doctors write em up faster than the public can swallow em. How many people are dead from Oxycotin and Viagra? How many cannot read their little purple pill vial because of blindness? No doctor goes to LV conventions at pharmas payola, that would be unetnical.

  7. First, Medicare is effectively a Government run insurance company. In the real world, when an insurance company chooses not to reimburse a doctor, the doctor’s office charges the patient. So refusing to pay the doctor would be highly counterproductive.

    Second, the doctor’s office still has staff who deserve to be paid, rent due every month, supplies that need to be purchased. If the doctor’s office cannot afford these things, they will have to close. This not only means fewer “providers”, it means a loss of highly skilled jobs in the economy.

    Third, if the doctor has a grain of sense (granted maybe he doesn’t), his medical practice is incorporated under whatever provision the state has for medical groups. The entire purpose of such structures is to insulate one’s personal finances from one’s corporate finances. Is it fair to penalize Joe Blow’s business because Joe Blow is late on his taxes? Is it fair to put a lien on Joe Blow’s house because he’s late with his payroll taxes (and why doesn’t he let his payroll service handle that anyway??). The situation is even worse if Dr. Blow is the employee of a physician group. That would mean no medicare payments to the group because Joe is personally late with his 1040? Somehow I don’t think that answer is just ducky with Joe’s supervisor.

    Finally, drug companies aren’t merely a red herring, they are a brightly glowing neon red herring.

    Bottom line: “cut off payments to ‘deadbeat’ docs!” has to be one of the dumbest ideas I’ve heard all day.

  8. It is sooo unnecessary to make every problem into a political issue.

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