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Nine Big Stories the Mainstream Media Missed in 2009

January 1, 2010

Nine Big Stories the Mainstream Media Missed in 2009
Slideshow: Fox News

From radical advisers in the Obama White House to hacked e-mails showing questionable work by climate scientists, 2009 has seen its share of scandals. But if you only followed the mainstream media, you might have missed some of the biggest stories of the year. Here’s a list of the top nine stories the mainstream media ignored in the past year.

Wait, wasn’t there a March on DC? Any other stories that the MSM Left Out?

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Cuss permalink
    January 2, 2010 2:01 am

    To me the biggest story is a skinny assed muslim prick corrupting his way to the white house!

    • January 2, 2010 2:57 am

      Yeah, they skipped RIGHT OVER that one.

      As if EVERYONE in the country is some sort of moron.

      Majority of them? Yeah, sure. All of us? No.

  2. January 3, 2010 1:22 am

    Mayo Clinic in Arizona to Stop Treating Some Medicare Patients
    By David Olmos

    Dec. 31 (Bloomberg) — The Mayo Clinic, praised by President Barack Obama as a national model for efficient health care, will stop accepting Medicare patients as of tomorrow at one of its primary-care clinics in Arizona, saying the U.S. government pays too little.

    More than 3,000 patients eligible for Medicare, the government’s largest health-insurance program, will be forced to pay cash if they want to continue seeing their doctors at a Mayo family clinic in Glendale, northwest of Phoenix, said Michael Yardley, a Mayo spokesman. The decision, which Yardley called a two-year pilot project, won’t affect other Mayo facilities in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota.

    Obama in June cited the nonprofit Rochester, Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio for offering “the highest quality care at costs well below the national norm.” Mayo’s move to drop Medicare patients may be copied by family doctors, some of whom have stopped accepting new patients from the program, said Lori Heim, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, in a telephone interview yesterday.

    “Many physicians have said, ‘I simply cannot afford to keep taking care of Medicare patients,’” said Heim, a family doctor who practices in Laurinburg, North Carolina. “If you truly know your business costs and you are losing money, it doesn’t make sense to do more of it.”

    Medicare Loss

    The Mayo organization had 3,700 staff physicians and scientists and treated 526,000 patients in 2008. It lost $840 million last year on Medicare, the government’s health program for the disabled and those 65 and older, Mayo spokeswoman Lynn Closway said.

    Mayo’s hospital and four clinics in Arizona, including the Glendale facility, lost $120 million on Medicare patients last year, Yardley said. The program’s payments cover about 50 percent of the cost of treating elderly primary-care patients at the Glendale clinic, he said.

    “We firmly believe that Medicare needs to be reformed,” Yardley said in a Dec. 23 e-mail. “It has been true for many years that Medicare payments no longer reflect the increasing cost of providing services for patients.”

    Mayo will assess the financial effect of the decision in Glendale to drop Medicare patients “to see if it could have implications beyond Arizona,” he said.

    Nationwide, doctors made about 20 percent less for treating Medicare patients than they did caring for privately insured patients in 2007, a payment gap that has remained stable during the last decade, according to a March report by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, a panel that advises Congress on Medicare issues. Congress last week postponed for two months a 21.5 percent cut in Medicare reimbursements for doctors.

    National Participation

    Medicare covered an estimated 45 million Americans at the end of 2008, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the agency in charge of the programs. While 92 percent of U.S. family doctors participate in Medicare, only 73 percent of those are accepting new patients under the program, said Heim of the national physicians’ group, citing surveys by the Leawood, Kansas-based organization.

    Greater access to primary care is a goal of the broad overhaul supported by Obama that would provide health insurance to about 31 million more Americans. More family doctors are needed to help reduce medical costs by encouraging prevention and early treatment, Obama said in a June 15 speech to the American Medical Association meeting in Chicago.

    Reid Cherlin, a White House spokesman for health care, declined comment on Mayo’s decision to drop Medicare primary care patients at its Glendale clinic.

    Medicare Costs

    Mayo’s Medicare losses in Arizona may be worse than typical for doctors across the U.S., Heim said. Physician costs vary depending on business expenses such as office rent and payroll. “It is very common that we hear that Medicare is below costs or barely covering costs,” Heim said.

    Mayo will continue to accept Medicare as payment for laboratory services and specialist care such as cardiology and neurology, Yardley said.

    Robert Berenson, a fellow at the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center in Washington, D.C., said physicians’ claims of inadequate reimbursement are overstated. Rather, the program faces a lack of medical providers because not enough new doctors are becoming family doctors, internists and pediatricians who oversee patients’ primary care.

    “Some primary care doctors don’t have to see Medicare patients because there is an unlimited demand for their services,” Berenson said. When patients with private insurance can be treated at 50 percent to 100 percent higher fees, “then Medicare does indeed look like a poor payer,” he said.

    Annual Costs

    A Medicare patient who chooses to stay at Mayo’s Glendale clinic will pay about $1,500 a year for an annual physical and three other doctor visits, according to an October letter from the facility. Each patient also will be assessed a $250 annual administrative fee, according to the letter. Medicare patients at the Glendale clinic won’t be allowed to switch to a primary care doctor at another Mayo facility.

    A few hundred of the clinic’s Medicare patients have decided to pay cash to continue seeing their primary care doctors, Yardley said. Mayo is helping other patients find new physicians who will accept Medicare.

    “We’ve had many patients call us and express their unhappiness,” he said. “It’s not been a pleasant experience.”

    Mayo’s decision may herald similar moves by other Phoenix- area doctors who cite inadequate Medicare fees as a reason to curtail treatment of the elderly, said John Rivers, chief executive of the Phoenix-based Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association.

    “We’ve got doctors who are saying we are not going to deal with Medicare patients in the hospital” because they consider the fees too low, Rivers said. “Or they are saying we are not going to take new ones in our practice.”

    • January 3, 2010 1:50 am

      JC’s comment For the WIN.

    • January 3, 2010 2:38 am

      I am certain that the msm will not cover this and if they do…it will be Bush’s fault! LOL

      • January 3, 2010 2:44 am

        Yeah, darn that Bush with his tax cuts, pro-life, anti-taxpayer funded abortion policies, his comfortable and stable economy, keeping us safe and successfully managing a war for majority of his presidency, staying true to his beliefs (even though I personally didn’t agree with EVERY one of them…) with a majority congress that was against his every decision – Damn him damn him damn him.

        Sorry. I’m not ashamed to say it. I MISS THAT COWBOY, but I hope he’s enjoying life as best as he can. We put him through three kinds of hell.

  3. January 3, 2010 2:49 am

    Yeah…I miss Bush too. And that is saying something…cause I certainly disagreed with him on immigration, bail outs, and the patriot act.

    • January 3, 2010 3:14 am

      I’m a GREEN DAY fan. In fact, if you were to look into my room… or my house… or my fridge.. my CD and Mp3 collection… my Green Day tattoo, my wardrobe (which consists of approx 85% Green Day shirts) you’d think I was a bleeding heart liberal.

      But, that just says to ME that I KNOW who I am and don’t let celebrities influence the way I think. I am who I am. Green Day’s members are who they are.

      It’s no secret that Green Day was VERY Anti-Bush… yet I voted for Bush. The liberals like to remind me that Green Day is very liberal. Uh.. no shit? This means WHAT to me? Oh! NOTHING!

      *shakes head*

      But yes… the things you mentioned are my major issues with Bush. I wonder how different things would be had we not been attacked by terrorists on that sad September day.

  4. Cuss permalink
    January 3, 2010 5:13 am

    This nightmare has to end.

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