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On Medicare's 45th Anniversary, AMA Calls on Congress to Fix Medicare's Physician Payment Problem to Keep Medicare Strong for Seniors

For immediate release:
July 30, 2010

Statement attributable to: 
Cecil Wilson, MD
President, American Medical Association

“On today’s 45th anniversary of Medicare, the AMA reminds Congress that action is desperately needed to keep Medicare strong for America’s seniors now and in the future.  On December 1, a 23 percent cut in Medicare physician payment begins, hurting seniors’ health care.  Physicians want to care for Medicare patients, but repeated short-term delays of the cut by Congress are wreaking havoc on physicians’ ability to keep their practice doors open to all Medicare patients.  Already about one in five physicians say they have been forced to limit the number of Medicare patients in their practice, citing the ongoing threat of future cuts and the fact that Medicare payment rates were already too low.

“Forty-five years ago today, Congress made a promise to America’s seniors and disabled patients with the creation of Medicare. Congress can keep that promise by fixing the Medicare physician payment problem, which will strengthen the security and stability of the program for current and future generations. In six months, the first wave of baby boomers will begin to reach age 65 and will start using their Medicare cards.  It’s critical that Congress fix the mess they created before the baby boomers start to swamp the system.”

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Contact:
Katherine Hatwell
AMA Media Relations
202-789-7419

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