Calls On Congress To Stop Medicare Doctor Cuts

The American Medical Association (AMA) is now airing television ads calling on Congress to stop Medicare physician payment cuts to seniors. The ad, titled the Faces of Health Care, depicts seniors who will be hurt by looming Medicare cuts and the physicians who care for them.

“This television ad is part of our campaign to get Congress to stop Medicare physician cuts that will harm seniors,” said AMA Board Chair Cecil Wilson, MD. “We are raising awareness of the severity of the problem.”

Next year, Medicare will cut payments to physicians by 10 percent. Over nine years the cuts swell to about 40 percent, while practice costs increase 20 percent. Only congressional action can stop the cuts, and avert an access to care crisis for seniors who rely on Medicare.

“Sixty percent of physicians tell the AMA that next year’s Medicare cut will force them to limit the number of new Medicare patients they can treat,” said Dr. Wilson. “As the baby boomers begin to age into Medicare in just three short years, we’re concerned that the cuts will mean that there simply won’t be enough doctors able to care for all the new Medicare patients.”

The AMA is encouraging seniors and their loved ones to contact their members of Congress to tell them we need action to stop Medicare cuts to physicians now. Americans can contact their members of Congress through the AMA’s Patient Action Network Web site or at (888) 464-6200.

The AMA also published print ads earlier this month in Capitol Hill papers. The print ads call on Congress to stop next year’s Medicare physician payment cut and replace the fatally flawed payment formula with one based on practice costs. The ad features a Medicare patient with high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels with the headline, “A doctor would tell this patient he’s in trouble. Too bad he may not have a doctor.”

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