Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013
This Week's News
This Week's News
Medicare pay cut of 2 percent set under budget sequester
Physicians will see a 2 percent reduction in Medicare payments beginning March 1 unless Congress can agree upon a plan to prevent the across-the-board federal sequestration budget cuts.
The 2 percent Medicare cut is part of broader cuts required under the Budget Control Act of 2011, which will take the cleaver to domestic and defense spending to eliminate a total of $1.2 trillion from the federal budget over the next decade. The sequestration cuts originally were scheduled to hit Jan. 1 but were delayed two months when the American Taxpayer Relief Act became law Jan. 3.
The AMA has been urging Congress to avoid the sequestration and come to a solution that prevents cuts in Medicare and domestic health programs. In September the AMA and more than 100 state and specialty medical associations sent a letter to Congress, explaining that a 2 percent cut would further restrict seniors' access to care and impede physicians' efforts to adopt needed health care innovations.
The AMA sent another letter in December, highlighting the impact of even steeper scheduled cuts on domestic health programs involving biomedical research, public health and the health care workforce.
Also in September, the AMA joined the American Hospital Association and the American Nurses Association in a campaign highlighting the impact the Medicare pay cut would have upon the entire community. According to a report produced by economic research firm Tripp Umbach, as many as 496,000 health care jobs could be lost in just the first year of the Medicare sequester cut.
Physicians can join the AMA in calling on Congress to find a better solution to reduce the national deficit. Email your members of Congress today through the AMA Physicians' Grassroots Network.
Read more about the sequester health care cuts in a blog entry by AMA President Jeremy A. Lazarus.