Here's an answer from Congress in an e-mail I received today:
From September 22, 2006 through September 30, 2006, a brief hold will be placed on Medicare payments for all claims. These payment delays are mandated by section 5203 of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. No interest will be accrued and no late penalties will be paid to an entity or individual by reason of this one-time hold on payments. All claims held during this time will be paid on October 2, 2006. Please note, however, that contractors handling large volumes of paper checks may have some difficulty putting all checks in the mail in a single day. Consequently, delivery of checks to providers may take a few extra days.So, how will many smaller, non-profit home care agencies, who serve these poor folks, and operate on the edge financially as reimbursements continue to drop (how much more did it just cost in gasoline for nurses to visit their patients this summer?) -- survive with no money for nine days? How will payroll be made? It's not only nurses -- home health aides who help people with hygiene so they can stay at home often live paycheck to paycheck. And, this is for ALL Medicare providers -- clinics, hospitals, doctors -- EVERYBODY! How in God's name could the Congress allow this to happen?
As Joe Lieberman wrote in his book, ("In Praise of Public Life" page 21):
"Of course I'm not saying that our political system should not sometimes be shaken up through the election of a new kind of leader, like Jesse Ventura in our time, or that it should not be open to the fresh perspective of someone from an entirely different proffession, a person who has been successful, say, in business..."That's the answer, ladies and gentlemen -- vote for a successful businessman to work for US and not his big-money Republican contributors.
Stop the insanity and stop putting the bill on the backs of those with the fewest resources. Elect a successful businessman who knows how to balance a budget, who knows how to support a payroll, and who knows how to help small businesses make health coverage available to workers without going bankrupt. Elect Ned Lamont.