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AMA Comments on Senate Finance Bill: AMA Committed to Reform, Will Work to Strengthen Final Bill

Permanent repeal of the current Medicare physician payment formula needed to preserve seniors’ access to care

For immediate release                                                        
Sept. 16, 2009

Statement attributable to:
J. James Rohack, MD
President, American Medical Association

“The AMA applauds Chairman Baucus and his colleagues for their hard work and important contribution toward our mutual objective of comprehensive health system reform.  Expanding coverage through tax credits, insurance market reforms that protect patients if they get sick or lose their job, and offering more affordable choices through new health insurance exchanges will significantly improve our health care system.

“The AMA will continue to work with Chairman Baucus and his colleagues to strengthen this proposal.  The AMA continues to call for permanent repeal of the current Medicare physician payment formula that threatens seniors’ access to care.  The House has already recognized the importance of this action by including it in pending legislation. 

“Without permanent repeal of the current formula, physicians face cuts of 40 percent over the next few years that will erode access and choice for America's seniors.  A recent AARP poll found that 90 percent of people 50 and over are concerned that the current Medicare physician payment formula threatens their access to care.  

“After further review of the proposal, the AMA will continue ongoing discussions with Chairman Baucus and other Finance Committee members regarding policies of concern to physicians.”

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Contact:

Katherine Hatwell
AMA Media Relations
202-789-7419

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