Congress Allows Medicare Meltdown to Happen

 

For Immediate Release
Feb. 26, 2010

 

Contact: Pam Udall
phone: (512) 370-1382
cell: (512) 413-6807

Brent Annear
phone: (512) 370-1381
cell: (512) 656-7320

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The following can be attributed to William H. Fleming, III, MD, president of the Texas Medical Association. Dr. Fleming notes that while the House passed an emergency stopgap measure last night, the Senate did not — and now it has adjourned for the weekend. Therefore the Medicare physician payment cuts will happen, beginning this Monday, March 1, 2010.

 

New video: TMA physician reacts to the Medicare cut-- calls the situation a "disgrace," and says patients will suffer.  


 “Congress’ failure to fix Medicare over the past decade is an insult to seniors, people with disabilities, and military families.

“To physicians, this is not a Democrat or Republican issue. For 10 years, Congress has known about the faulty payment formula for physicians, and for 10 years it has done nothing to fix it. Now, for Congress to go home for the weekend without acting on even a temporary Band-Aid to stop the cuts threatens the availability and quality of health care for Medicare patients across Texas and America. The 21.2-percent cut, which goes into effect March 1, is a debacle, but not fixing the faulty formula reflects an even more basic failure.

“If Congress can’t fix this one basic problem — one that so directly affects patient access and care — how can we expect Congress to get it right with broader health system reform? Congress and the president talk about the importance of physicians being able to care for their patients. Yet actions speak louder than words. This is a sad day for Texas’ patients and physicians, and all Americans should be disappointed and disgusted with Congress’ failure to address this issue.”

TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing nearly 45,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 120 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans.

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