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Groups Call On Senator Charles Schumer to Lead Senate In Strengthening Medicare
Date:11/30/2007

Groups Join Forces - Urge Reinvestment of Billions into Medicare Program

ALBANY, N.Y., Nov. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AARP NY, Medical Society of the State of New York, and StateWide Senior Action Council have joined forces to call on Senator Charles Schumer to lead the U.S. Senate in strengthening Medicare by protecting beneficiary access to doctors, stopping steep spikes in Medicare premiums, and helping lower income persons pay for prescription drugs. These improvements can be made by cutting back on excess payments to private insurance companies. The groups want to see the Senate take action similar to the House of Representatives which recently passed legislation to protect beneficiaries and eliminate billions in excess payments to private insurers offering Medicare Advantage plans.

By reducing the excess payments given to private insurance plans each year, Congress can protect patient access to physicians by stopping payment cuts scheduled for 2008 as well as stabilize premiums and improve Medicare's low-income programs.

"Senator Schumer has continually been a champion for health care and issues important to older New Yorkers. His leadership is now needed to keep the Medicare program affordable to participants," said AARP New York State Director, Lois Aronstein. "Excess payments to private insurers through Medicare need to stop and the money needs to be channeled into maintaining access to doctors, keeping down Medicare premium increases and improving assistance for lower income beneficiaries."

"Senior access to needed health care in New York is already being threatened by a confluence of factors that make it difficult for physicians to provide care," said Dr. Robert B. Goldberg, DO, President of the Medical Society of the State of New York. "A major problem is the fact that Medicare reimbursement has not kept pace with the significant inflation in practice costs, particularly medical liability insurance costs. Th
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SOURCE AARP New York
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