AANPA Members Push Congress to Pass the Save Medicare Act of 2008

May 28, 2008

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Failure to pass new Medicare legislation before July 1 will result in a 10.6 percent cut of physician payments, followed by a 5 percent cut on January 1, 2009. These cuts could reduce seniors' access to physicians, limit investment in health care technology, and cause offices to cut staff.

The Save Medicare Act of 2008 (S.2785) would prevent these cuts, and would also:

  • Retain current payment levels for the remainder of 2008
  • Enact a 1.8% payment increase for 2009
  • Continue "rural extender" provisions that are set to expire
  • Give Congress 18 months to work on a long-term solution to the broken Medicare payment system

While some congressional members remain optimistic they'll get something done, Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) said he doesn't believe they can come to an agreement by the end of June.

"We've found some areas of agreement surrounding an 18-month physician payment update, extensions of expiring provisions, and stopping unscrupulous marketing of plans to Medicare beneficiaries," said Senator Baucus in a statement released May 21. "But it's clear to me that in the time left to complete a bill, we're unlikely to get a bipartisan agreement with sufficient improvements in preventive care and other beneficiary services."

In the meantime, it is vital that Congress hears from as many people as possible. Please contact your representatives today and ask them to take action now by passing the Save Medicare Act of 2008 (S.2785).