In Washington, D.C., August means one thing: summer recess for lawmakers. A five-week period when members of Congress are back in their districts hosting constituent events, such as town halls, coffee-on-the corner and in-office meetings. This is the best opportunity to let your elected officials know that now is the time to repeal the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula in 2014.
Earlier this year, Congress came close to passing bipartisan legislation that would have permanently fixed the SGR crisis. In the end, they kicked the can down the road and passed another patch. While many members of Congress remain committed to finding a permanent solution to SGR this year, the reality is that time is running out for this Congress to pass a permanent repeal.
That's why we need you to turn up the heat on your lawmakers this month to encourage them to continue working in a bipartisan manner and remind them that they have unfinished business on repealing the SGR formula and designing a new Medicare physician payment system.
Use this opportunity: While your members of Congress are at home for the next five weeks, send them an urgent email and call their district offices via the AMA’s Physicians Grassroots Network hotline at (800) 833-6354.
Don’t forget! Use our physician action kit to enhance your communication with lawmakers during the August recess.
Be sure to visit FixMedicareNow.org for the latest information and resources on the AMA's efforts to engage physicians, patients and policymakers in the effort to repeal the flawed Medicare SGR formula and achieve reform that will transform Medicare into an effective, 21st century model of care.
Please convey the following points to your representative and senators:
- Tell your members of Congress today that now is the time to enact repeal;
- The SGR formula is widely acknowledged to be a policy failure. The SGR has forced Congress to intervene 17 times since 2003 to prevent steep payment cuts and preserve seniors’ access to care;
- Repealing the SGR is the fiscally responsible choice. More money has been spent on short-term interventions that supported this failed policy than the cost of the legislation pending in Congress today;
- It is time to establish new payment methods that will support the health care delivery systems that Medicare patients and American taxpayers deserve;
The AMA and the Physicians' Grassroots Network (PGN) have unveiled a new grassroots mobile application to aid physicians’ ability to influence Congress. This new app has been designed to not only assist you while visiting Capitol Hill, but also serve as an advocacy tool when interacting with legislators back home.
- An interactive Capitol Hill office directory with office location numbers, phone, fax and additional contact information for your US Representative and Senators.
- A built-in email and phone action alert tool which will be functional year round so that you can respond to the latest activity on Capitol Hill.
- Access to timely talking points on our most critical issues and a real-time online feedback form to report back on your interactions with legislators.
Download the app today and stay tuned for additional features and updates in 2013!