http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/09/us/politics/09health.html?...Members of Congress are seriously considering proposals to rein in the growth of health spending by taking tens of billions of dollars of Medicare money away from doctors and hospitals in high-cost areas and using it to help cover the uninsured or treat patients in lower-cost regions.Those proposals have alarmed lawmakers from higher-cost states like Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. But they have won tentative support among some lawmakers from Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon and Washington, who say their states have long been shortchanged by Medicare.Nationally, according to the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, Medicare spent an average of $8,304 per beneficiary in 2006. Among states, New York was tops, at $9,564, and Hawaii was lowest, at $5,311. Researchers at Dartmouth Medical School have also found wide variations within states and among cities. Medicare spent $16,351 per beneficiary in Miami in 2006, almost twice the average of $8,331 in San Francisco, they said.The Senate Finance Committee recently suggested that one way to pay for health care overhaul would be to reduce geographic variations by cutting or capping Medicare payments in “areas where per-beneficiary spending is above a certain threshold, compared with the national average.”Mr. Orszag says health spending could be reduced by as much as 30 percent, or $700 billion a year, without compromising the quality of care, if more doctors and hospitals practiced like those in low-cost areas.Will the Northeastern & Eastern states lay down for this? How will voters in those states react to such change? I don't think the Northeastern & Eastern voters had such change in mind when they pulled the lever fer Obama.<G>Up to 30% reduction? You saying I cain't have my MRI? Damn it health care is a right! Gonna be some p*ssed off folks.<G>
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