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AMA News Room

Feb. 6, 2013

AMA Statement on Schwartz, Heck Bill to Repeal SGR

For immediate release:
Feb. 6, 2013

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

“The AMA thanks Rep. Allyson Schwartz and Rep. Joe Heck for their continued leadership and commitment to ending the failed Medicare physician payment formula known as the SGR. Reps. Schwartz and Heck clearly understand that this decade-long cycle of scheduled cuts and short-term patches must end so we can protect access to care for Medicare patients, reward quality and reduce costs.

“Reps. Schwartz and Heck’s legislation comes on the heels of an announcement from the CBO that the cost of permanently repealing the SGR has decreased dramatically. The rate of Medicare spending growth declined compared to historical trends, and spending for physician services affected by the SGR is projected to be far less than previously estimated.

“The new cost of ending this problem is $138 billion, more than $100 billion below the previous projection and less than the $146 billion Congress has already spent on short-term patches to the SGR over the past decade.

“This legislation is an important part of the continuing discussion on the future of Medicare and the end of the SGR. We look forward to continuing to work with Reps. Schwartz and Heck and their colleagues on both sides of the aisle to move past the SGR and transition to an array of Medicare delivery and payment options that give physicians the flexibility they need to help lower costs and improve the quality of care for their patients.”



Heather Lasher Todd
AMA Media Relations

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