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AMA News Room

Feb. 12, 2013

AMA Physicians Frame Conversation on Health Care Issues on Eve of State of the Union Address

For immediate release:
Feb. 12, 2013

WASHINGTON – As President Obama prepares to deliver his state of the union address this evening, the American Medical Association (AMA) has gathered hundreds of physicians and medical students from around the nation together at the National Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C. to put health care issues center stage on Capitol Hill.

Physicians and medical students heard a keynote address from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius before visiting Capitol Hill.

“This is a critical time for our health care system and our elected leaders are hearing from physicians about the issues that most impact our patients and our practices,” said AMA President Jeremy Lazarus, M.D. “Secretary Sebelius spoke about the commitment she and the president share to repealing the broken Medicare physician payment formula known as the SGR and ending the constant state of uncertainty it causes for patients and physicians. Her speech comes on the heels of an announcement from the CBO that the cost to repeal the SGR is now less than half the cost projected at this time last year. There is no doubt that now is the time to end this problem and protect access to care for patients – a message physicians will be delivering loud and clear during their meetings this week with members of Congress.”

Also on Tuesday morning, former AMA president and senior advisor at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, Nancy Nielsen, M.D., Ph.D., and Chester Burrell, president and CEO of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, spoke about new models of delivering and paying for patient care. A panel discussion on federal funding for graduate medical education featured presentations from Atul Grover, M.D., Ph.D., the chief public policy officer for the Association of American Medical Colleges, and Thomas Ricketts, Ph.D., MPH, from the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research and commissioner of the National Health Care Workforce Commission.


Heather Lasher Todd
AMA Media Relations

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