It was with considerable interest that I read Augustine Perrotta's comments about an April 29 MP Stat story on the Medicaid funding controversy. His explanation is factually accurate. However, I have seen articles on all sides of controversial issues in my readings of MP Stat. If that particular article had a "liberal spin" (I can hear Bill O'Reilly's voice now), there have been just as many with a "conservative spin" or, more commonly, objective news on both sides of the issue, such as the series of articles regarding the specialty hospital moratorium.
All of the news accounts that circulated at the time that HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt proposed the commission were very clear about the notion that the $10 billion reduction was in the projected Medicaid budget over the next five years as detailed in a budget resolution (it was not an actual appropriations bill). The audience for MP Stat should be familiar with basic government funding mechanisms. News organizations were just as clear about the fact that the executive committee of the National Governors Association, a balanced but Republican-majority group, opposed the proposed cutbacks.
By any objective fiscal measure, Social Security is not "in trouble," although this issue is a red herring when considering Medicaid funding.
The true test will be whether Dr. Perrotta maintains his Medicaid patient caseload in the future during the proposed Medicaid reductions, if enacted by Congress.
Michael Mundorff, Intermountain Health Care, Salt Lake City, Utah