The Buzz

April 9, 2014

Tea party Senate candidate Milton Wolf gets $100K in Medicare payments in 2012

U.S. Senate candidate Milton Wolf received $101,001 in Medicare reimbursements in 2012, a searchable database shows. Wolf, a Republican, is challenging incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts in Kansas.

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U.S. Senate candidate Milton Wolf received $101,001 in Medicare reimbursements in 2012, a searchable database shows

.

Wolf, a Republican, is challenging incumbent Sen.

Pat Roberts

in Kansas.

The Obama administration has released the payment records

for individual physicians, and several news organizations have compiled them into a database. Patient information was not revealed.

Personal financial disclosure statements show Wolf, a radiologist, earned roughly $1.1 million over a two-year period. If accurate, that suggests about 25 percent of Wolf’s income is generated by Medicare, the federal insurance program for the elderly.

(Note: Of that $1.1 million, roughly $900,000 is in salary. The rest comes from income Wolf earns as a partner in his radiology firm, and was not included in the calculation.

Over two years, Wolf averages $450,000 in salary. The $101,000 in Medicare payments is about 1/4 of that.)

Wolf, a tea party favorite, has sharply criticized the Affordable Care Act, and Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance programs for the poor.

He’s also worried about reduced payments to doctors under Medicare. From his

website

:

Medicare is insolvent and cannot keep its promises. Its own trustees estimate that the program’s unfunded obligations have ballooned to nearly $43 trillion dollars which threatens the existence of the program itself.

To paraphrase economist Herbert Stein: Spending that cannot go on forever, won’t.

The government’s response to this self-inflicted crisis has been to ration care and to reduce reimbursement to healthcare providers. The obvious result has been less care and fewer doctors to provide it.

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