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AMA Statement on CBO Estimated Cost for Delaying SGR Cut

For immediate release:
Nov. 21, 2012

Statement attributable to:
Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD
President, American Medical Association

"The latest estimates from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on the cost to delay a cut of nearly 27 percent, scheduled to hit physicians who care for Medicare patients on January 1, is a prime example of why this broken system must be eliminated.

"The sustainable growth rate formula (SGR) was created with the intent to lower the rate of growth in Medicare spending, but it has scheduled dangerous cuts to physicians, which Congress has repeatedly postponed. The new information from the CBO shows that the rate of growth in Medicare spending has gone down, but now the cost for preventing the devastating cut has increased by $7 billion.

"When lower rates of spending growth lead to a higher cost for reform, it is clear that the SGR does not work. It is time to stop this broken cycle in Medicare and move toward a program that ensures the best health outcomes for patients and a stable, rewarding practice environment for physicians. With a nearly 27 percent cut looming on January 1, the AMA is ready to work with Congress and the administration on a system that emphasizes quality innovations for patients and reduces costs so Medicare will be there for seniors now and in the future."


Heather Lasher Todd
AMA Media Relations


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