This new program, created by the new health care law, will cost the American taxpayers an estimated $350,000. It is a perfect example of the type of waste that Americans want us to eliminate. We don't need a government bureaucrat to tell us we have a shortage in physicians - we see it with our own eyes. We know Medicare and Medicaid pay physicians less than the cost of care, so it is hardly surprising that Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries have more access problems than those with private insurance.

If the administration is seeking a way to increase access, spying on physicians is a not the solution. If the administration were truly interested in improving access to care, President Obama could work with Congress to permanently fix the Medicare sustainable growth rate formula, which dictates Medicare payments to physicians. This formula threatens physicians annually with deep cuts, and fixing it will help bring stability to our medical system. Mystery shoppers will only burden medical providers and make them trust the government less.


Physicians are frustrated with the administration's latest tactic to invade and takeover the health care system. In a New York Times article about the mystery shoppers, Dr. Stephen C. Albrecht, a family doctor in Olympia, Washington, said: "If federal officials are worried about access to care, they could help us. They don't have to spy on us."

When people became aware of the mystery shoppers program, they were outraged. In an attempt to halt the media stories, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusProgressives set to test appeal of prairie populism in Kansas primary Overcoming health-care challenges by moving from volume to value Mr. President, let markets help save Medicare MORE said she would end the program. While I support Secretary Sebelius' decision to end the mystery shopper program, I am more concerned that someone thought this was a good idea in the first place.

As I have said before, the president's health care law threatens the good parts of our health care system and will only further insert government bureaucrats into health care decisions that should be made by the patient and their physician. This is yet another example.

Another surprise that I learned about early on while reading the health care bill is the president's Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) - a panel charged with rationing Medicare benefits in order to meet a budget. This board, made up of 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats, can decide where they want to cut care and by how much - without Congressional oversight. Fortunately, we are building support for ending this board. This week, my legislation to repeal the IPAB secured its 150th cosponsor.

If the Obama administration wants to increase access to care and preserve the quality of care for our seniors, they need to do away with harmful policies like mystery shopper program and the IPAB. I believe in solutions like reforming our medical malpractice laws and fixing our Medicare payment formula. It is my hope that the president will start to listen to physicians in Congress and those on the front lines of medical care to understand how policies in his health care law will put an expansive new bureaucracy directly between patients and their doctors.