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Medicare Cuts to Physicians Will Harm Seniors
Date:9/27/2007

re concerned there won't be enough doctors able to care for all the new Medicare patients," Dr. Plested said.

"If the cuts scheduled for the next two years are implemented, physician payments will be reduced to their 1991 levels," Dr. Plested said. "Most physicians' offices are small businesses. And no business can keep its doors open if it can't pay its bills."

The cuts also hit nearly 113,000 members of military families in Kansas and 148,000 in Missouri because rates in their health insurance system, called TRICARE, are tied to Medicare.

"For seniors, for military families, we need Congress to act to stop the Medicare physician payment cuts," said Dr. Plested.

"We urge the senators from Kansas and Missouri to reject the two years of cuts totaling

15 percent and make payments reflect the increasing costs of medical care in order to prevent more seniors from having problems finding a new primary care physician or specialist,"

Dr. Plested said.

"We need the Senate to act now. Kansas Senators Pat Roberts and Sam Brownback have been supportive in the past, and we appreciate that support. But the Medicare patients in Kansas they represent need them to fix this problem now by working in the Senate for a solution that provides urgently needed relief," Dr. Plested said.

"The AMA encourages patients to get involved through the AMA's Patients Action Network. So far, more than a million have signed on. We're asking them to urge the Senate to take action to provide meaningful relief from drastic Medicare physician payment cuts," said Dr. Plested.

The Web site is http://www.patientsactionnetwork.org. The toll free number is 1-888-434-6200.

"Congress needs to act to preserve seniors' access to care and put Medicare on a firm foundation for the future. Congress must keep its promise to America's seniors," said Dr. Plested.

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SOURCE American Medical Association
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