Medicare Physician Payment Cut Halted for Six Months

Statement of
Edward Langston, MD
AMA Board Chair

“It is extremely disappointing that after all the hard work in the House earlier this year to replace two years of Medicare physician payment cuts with increases that would help physicians keep up with medical practice costs, the final action passed by the House and Senate stops the cut for just six months, which creates uncertainty for both Medicare patients and physicians. We strongly urge Congress to break the tradition of short-term interventions that are not funded and fail to chart a course for replacing a flawed payment formula that is a barrier to improving quality and access to care for seniors.

“The AMA appreciates the efforts by House Speaker Pelosi and Representatives Hoyer, Dingell, Pallone, Rangel, Stark and Emanuel throughout this year to pass legislation to replace the 10.1 percent Medicare physician payment cut with a modest increase and to extend expiring rural physician payment provisions. Earlier this year the House made tough decisions on spending priorities that are critical to the future of Medicare.

“The AMA applauds Congress for taking action to renew the government health care coverage program for America’s low-income children. This action will provide federal funds to cover state budget shortfalls. Continuation of this important program is critical to ensuring that America’s children have access to needed health care services. During this holiday season, the renewal of SCHIP is a true gift to families in need.”
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