Physicians, Patients Unite Across U.S. to Stop Medicare Meltdown

For Immediate Release
April 13, 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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What began as a one-state petition drive  to capture Congress' attention to fix Medicare has expanded into a nationwide grassroots effort. Physicians and patients from coast to coast have united to gather 1 million signatures or more.

"The outpouring of support clearly demonstrates fixing Medicare is important to patients and their physicians," said Texas Medical Association (TMA) President William H. Fleming III, MD.

TMA launched the petition drive on Monday, April 5, urging Congress to fix the flawed payment formula that threatens care for millions of Medicare patients. Within days of the launch, all 50 state medical societies plus the District of Columbia and more than 15 specialty societies joined the Stop the Medicare Meltdown petition drive.

"It shows how strongly patients and physicians feel about their relationship," said Dr. Fleming. "For a Medicare patient, a doctor can mean everything: independence, hope, and security. And, physicians want to be available to our Medicare patients - we don't want to be forced out of Medicare."

However, unless Congress takes swift action to fix the faulty funding formula, physicians and other providers face steep cuts. Physicians' payments were cut by more than 21 percent on April 1, which could jeopardize care to millions of patients. Even if Congress freezes the cut like it did last month, last year, and for the past decade - it doesn't solve the fundamental problem. In fact, the Band-Aids only serve to erode the foundation of the Medicare program.

"The ongoing uncertainty hurts patients and their doctors. Patients need to know their doctors will be there when they need them," added Dr. Fleming.

"That's why I'm thrilled the petition drive has caught on and is progressing across the nation. We all hope and pray that Congress and President Obama get the message this time - fix Medicare. No more Band-Aids. We need a permanent fix to the faulty funding formula to protect Medicare patients' access to care across America."  

A link to an easy-to-complete online petition is at .

State medical associations and specialty societies participating in the petition drive include these:


Texas Medical Association


Alaska State Medical Association

Alliance of Specialty Medicine

American Association of Neurological Surgeons

American Academy of Ophthalmology

American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists

American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons

American College of Cardiology

Arizona Medical Association

Arkansas Medical Society

American Gastroenterological Association

American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery

American Society of Plastic Surgeons

American Urological Association

California Medical Association

Colorado Medical Society

Congress of Neurological Surgeons

Connecticut State Medical Society 

Florida Medical Association

Hawaii Medical Association

Idaho Medical Association

Illinois State Medical Society

Indiana State Medical Association

Iowa Medical Society

Kansas Medical Society

Kentucky Medical Association

Louisiana State Medical Society

Maine Medical Association

Massachusetts Medical Society

MedChi, Maryland State Medical Society

Medical Association of Georgia

Medical Association of the State of Alabama

Medical Society of Delaware

Medical Society of the District of Columbia

Medical Society of New Jersey

Medical Society of the State of New York

Medical Society of Virginia

Michigan State Medical Society

Minnesota Medical Association

Missouri State Medical Association

Mississippi State Medical Association

Montana Medical Association

National Association of Spine Specialists

Nebraska Medical Association

Nevada State Medical Association 

New Hampshire Medical Society

New Mexico Medical Society

North Carolina Medical Society

North Dakota Medical Association

Oklahoma State Medical Association

Ohio State Medical Association

Oregon Medical Association

Pennsylvania Medical Society

Rhode Island Medical Society

Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions

Society of Gynecologic Oncologists

South Carolina Medical Association

South Dakota State Medical Association

Tennessee Medical Association

Texas Academy of Physician Assistants

Utah Medical Association

Vermont Medical Society

Washington State Medical Association

West Virginia State Medical Association

Wisconsin Medical Society

Wyoming Medical Society

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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TMA's Medicare Meltdown Action Center