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'Deep concern and disappointment' with exclusion of Medicare from SCHIP legislation
Date:9/20/2007

(Washington) Expressions of deep concern and disappointment about reports that the pending SCHIP reauthorization will go forward without addressing several issues that are critical to access to care for Medicare beneficiaries were sent today to congressional leaders by the American College of Physicians (ACP). David C. Dale, MD, FACP, president of ACP, sent letters on behalf of the 124,000 internal medicine physicians and medical student members of ACP.

Dr. Dale thanked House leadership for supporting enactment of the Childrens Health and Medicare Protection Act of 2007 (CHAMP), which would re-authorize the SCHIP program and make essential improvements in Medicare. He expressed disappointment, though, that the reported House-Senate agreement does not include relief from pending physician payment cuts and other essential Medicare improvements. (over)

ACP will continue to urge members of Congress and the President to agree to legislation that reauthorizes and improves coverage for children under SCHIP, Dr. Dale emphasized to all congressional leaders. He expressed appreciation for the key Medicare provisions that were included in the House-passed CHAMP bill, but urged House leaders to continue to work toward a prompt agreement with the Senate on getting those provisions enacted and signed into law. In the letter to Senate leaders, Dr. Dale expressed deep concern about the Senates unwillingness to take up the Medicare provisions as part of SCHIP legislation, and similarly urged them to work with their House counterparts to reach prompt agreement on Medicare legislation to preserve and improve access to care for Americas seniors.

The letter listed three policies that ACP believes need to be included in an acceptable Medicare bill:

  • Cumulative physician payment cuts of 15 percent in 2008 and 2009 under traditional Medicare must be replaced with positive annual updates of no less than 0.5 percent.

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Contact: David Kinsman
dkinsman@acponline.org
202-261-4554
American College of Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

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