Gov. Hogan’s BaltimoreLink bus system overhaul coming Sunday – Baltimore Brew
Johns Hopkins has been feeling the pain of sequestration’s across-the-board spending cuts in the form of a dearth of federal research dollars, and Sen. Barb Mikulski is fighting mad. The cuts — which total $70 million for Hopkins Medicine and have required “dozens” of layoffs — have led Mikulski to declare her desire to “cancel sequester.”
According to the Baltimore Sun, if the Maryland Democrat had her druthers, she’d not only return the National Institutes of Health’s budget to pre-sequestration level; she’d up it by $1 billion. The way she sees it, funding research into the treatment and cure of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s wil save money paid out through Medicaid in the long run.
Coming Out about Parkinson’s: Public Health Visionary Peter Beilenson on Ambition, Obamacare, and What We Can Learn from “The Wire”
Dr. Peter Beilenson — the high-profile Howard County health officer — prefers to keep his personal life out of the press. When he announced publicly his Parkinson’s diagnosis last month, he did it for one reason: to support Obamacare. Diagnosed five years ago, Beilenson, 52, made public his health status the same day the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the central provisions of Obama’s federal health care overhaul.
“I disclosed it because I was so disgusted by the right wing’s constant vilification of the uninsured as ‘getting the poor health they deserve,’ and wanted to make the point that I have Parkinson’s but am fine — because I have insurance,” Beilenson says.
Health care reform and cuts to Medicaid and Medicare have really hit — wait for it — doctors hard. Physicians are probably not the first people you think of struggling from cuts to social programs, but with a little imagination it’s not hard to see how their practices could be adversely affected.
The major issue is that Medicare and Medicaid have been paying out less in reimbursements to physicians. A large percentage of physicians say they lose money treating patients on Medicare or Medicaid, and 40 percent plan to “drop out of patient care in [the] next one to three years in response to reform.” It’s already caused many doctors to either restrict the number of Medicare/Medicaid patients they accept or sell their practices.
What does a less profitable medical profession mean for us here in Hopkinsville, I mean, Baltimore?