CHICAGO — The American Medical Association (AMA) joined with the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) today to call on Congress to ensure continued access to care for America’s seniors and military families. The organizations are urging policymakers to pass legislation that would permanently eliminate the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula and prevent a devastating 21 percent cut in Medicare and TRICARE payments that could force physicians to limit the number of seniors and military families they treat.
“As a physician who served in the military, I understand how important TRICARE is for service members and their families,” said AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD. “These Americans, who sacrifice so much for our country, deserve to have the security that they will be able to access care when they need it. It is time for policymakers to seize the moment to finally eliminate the SGR once and for all and put in place new policies that support the implementation of new delivery and payment models that will improve care.”
“Every year we go through the same exercise of putting a temporary patch on this important policy, which creates uncertainty and threatens access to care for all military personnel ,” said MOAA President retired Navy Vice Adm. Norb Ryan. “America’s servicemen and women should not have to fear for their vital health coverage at the end of every year because of Congressional inaction. It is time to end this unnecessary budget drill once and for all and pass policy to eliminate the flawed SGR.”
Congress is up against a March 31 deadline to prevent the SGR from going into effect and ensure access to care for millions of seniors, TRICARE military personnel, their families and retirees. There have been bills introduced in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to permanently eliminate the SGR and put in place practical solutions to problems that have plagued the Medicare system for years and make it more sustainable for future generations. Both the AMA and MOAA have expressed support for the policy, which would also reauthorize funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
For more information about the legislation, visit AMA Wire.
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The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care. The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.