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Senate Turns Its Back on Seniors and Military Families

Senators leave for vacation, allowing Medicare meltdown to begin June 1

For immediate release:
May 27, 2010

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

The Senate has turned its back on seniors, and America’s physicians are outraged that Congress has deserted patients by failing to address this year’s Medicare cut before the June 1 deadline.  Senators are more interested in heading home for the holiday than in preventing a Medicare meltdown for seniors.  The 21 percent Medicare physician payment cut has been looming all year, and yet all Congress has managed to do is repeated short-term delays.  This is complete mismanagement of a health care program that America’s seniors and the disabled rely on.  Already, about one in four Medicare patients looking for a new primary care physician have trouble finding one, and congressional inaction will make it much worse.

“It is sad and ironic as we enter the Memorial Day holiday that Congress’ inaction on the 21 percent cut puts health care for America’s military heroes and their families at risk. TRICARE, the health care program for military families ties its payment rates to Medicare.

“Enough is enough: nine times in eight years Congress has delayed the cut and not fixed the problem.  Congress needs to buckle down, stop growing the problem and fix it once and for all to save the Medicare and TRICARE programs for America’s seniors and military families.” 



Brenda L. Craine
Director, AMA Media Relations