AMA Begins Campaign to Urge Congress to Stop Scheduled Physician Medicare Cuts
Posted Nov 08 2010 8:29pm
Here we go once more, but this time the stakes are a little higher since the last extension was granted by Congress. Each time the deadline seems to get a bit closer and last time IT changes were made to pay at a lower rate, and then changed back one the extension was voted in. I think everyone would like to see a permanent fix for this as it has been going on for about 10 years. Change the law and fund it, sometimes laws need to be changed and after what has occurred for a number of years, I think we are well over due.
Last time we had this to deal with, the Senate voting against the cuts, which was eventually changed but what a message it sent out on how the Senate values good care from doctors and thinks about the access to physicians for seniors. The bill in June was to delay cuts for a longer period of time until 2012 and that is what the Senate voted against.
The justification is that there’s not enough money in the budget, well find it elsewhere as you do not want seniors suffering and not having access if doctors drop out of Medicare.
I wonder where these folks get their priorities as I read today they are still on the Google Maps case where open wireless networks allowed for the accidental capture of personal data. I can tell you why this is such a hot issue and it’s due to the fact that we have luddites in Congress that didn’t have enough sense to lock up their own wireless networks at home and complained. They got the same treatment as the rest but when it happens at their expense, well you know what happens then. So again priorities fix the doctor cuts or mess around with Google over wireless privacy that a little bit of general consumer IT awareness could have prevented.
Information for both patients and doctors for contact and action can be found at the bottom of this post. BD
SAN DIEGO—A staggering 94 percent of Americans are concerned about a looming Medicare cut to doctors, according to a new American Medical Association (AMA) poll released today at the organization's semi-annual meeting of physician leaders from across the nation. Without congressional action, physicians caring for seniors face a 25 percent cut that will hurt seniors' health care. A brand-new AMA ad is being published nationally today in USA Today and will also run in Washington, D.C. publications next week when Congress reconvenes
"Our new poll sends a message to Congress that the American people want them to stop the Medicare cut with 95 percent of seniors saying Congress should act immediately to stop it," said AMA President Cecil B. Wilson, MD, from a news conference at the meeting. "On December 1 the cut begins, and if Congress has not acted seniors will suffer. We're pulling out the stops to get Congress to act. Our new national ad features seniors, a veteran and an active duty military member—as all these groups will be hurt by the Medicare cut. The ad urges concerned Americans to contact Congress and tell them to stop the cut this month."
The AMA also offers a kit to help physicians evaluate their options for coping with the continuing threats of Medicare payment cuts. The kit contains sample materials to help physicians explain their decision to patients.
Physicians can send a personal message to Congress on Nov. 17 by participating in White Coat Wednesday. Call the AMA’s grassroots hotline at (800) 833-6354 to be put in touch with your U.S. senators and urge them to act on this issue.
It’s important for patients to get involved as well. They can call (888) 434-6200 and tell Congress to stop the cuts, and they can receive timely updates by joining the AMA’s Patients’ Action Network . The AMA also has developed a new flier for physicians to display in waiting rooms, encouraging patients to tell their members of Congress to stop the cuts.