American College of Physicians Blasts Congress For Causing “Irreparable damage to Medicare”

The American College of Physicians has released the following statement protesting the failure of Congress to continue Medicare payments on schedule in June, blasting Congress for causing “Irreparable damage to Medicare” as seniors and military families face loss of access to health care:

Today,  the  Senate  and  House  remain  at loggerheads on  how to reverse  a devastating  cut  in Medicare and TRICARE payments to physicians.

Today, Medicare  claims are being processed, retroactive  to June 1, with a 21 percent  cut, which is not enough to even begin to cover the costs of delivering care.

Today, tens of thousands of  physician  practices are facing the real possibility that they will have to lay‐off staff, miss payroll, limit how many Medicare and military families they can accept, or even close their doors.

Today, millions of America’s seniors and military families are finding that Medicare no longer is a reliable or stable partner.

And  each  and every day  that the cut remains in effect, more and more seniors and military families will find that they can’t get an appointment with a doctor.

Each and every day  the cut remains in effect, physicians will continue to lose confidence in the ability of Congress, the President, and  both political parties to do the right thing by patients.

This loss of trust in government not only harms Medicare and TRICARE, but threatens to undermine physicians’ confidence in the federal government’s ability to manage health care reform effectively.

It  is past time  for politicians from both political parties and both chambers to stop blaming someone else for the impasse. Physicians and patients don’t want to hear that it is the Democrats’ fault, or the Republicans’, or the President’s, or the Senate’s, or the House’s. They don’t want to hear politicians claim that they are for repealing the SGR, as they withhold their vote from any practical plan to achieve repeal.

They want to hear that the people they elected can work together to solve the problem.

They want to hear that the House and Senate have resolved their differences and enacted legislation to immediately reverse the 21 percent cut and make physicians whole for the damage already done.

They want to hear that  members of Congress, on a bicameral and bipartisan  basis, have agreed on a long‐term solution to replace the unworkable SGR. Such a solution, at a minimum, would provide stable, reliable and positive payments or all services that cover physicians’ costs, provides for higher updates for primary care visits and preventive services, and lead to repeal of the SGR.

Absent such agreement, physicians and their patients will continue  to lose faith  in Medicare and TRICARE, causing potentially irreparable and permanent damage to both programs.

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2 Comments

  1. 1
    ALEX GILBERT says:

    RT @ronchusid: American College of Physicians Blasts Congress For "Irreparable damage to Medicare" in failure to pass payment fix #p2 http://bit.ly/dtG3MK

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