Senate Acts to Delay Medicare Cut for One Month

Nov. 18, 2010

Statement Attributable to:
Cecil Wilson, MD
President, American Medical Association

"The Senate's action today to stop the Medicare cut for one month will help avert a health care access crisis for seniors that would have begun in just two weeks. This is a short-term reprieve, and the AMA is urging Congress to pass a one-year fix as soon as they return from the Thanksgiving holiday.  Delaying the 25 percent cut to the end of 2011 will inject some stability into the Medicare program for patients and physicians and provide lawmakers with time to develop a long-term solution to the broken physician payment system. Now the U.S. House must act on the legislation passed by the Senate before the December 1 deadline to preserve health care for America's seniors.  The AMA thanks Senator Reid, Senator McConnell, Senator Baucus, Senator Grassley and President Obama for their efforts to stave off the Medicare cut and preserve access to physician care for seniors and military families. 

"This week, patients and physicians flooded congressional phone lines urging action to stop the cut with more than 10,000 calls made during the AMA's "White Coat Wednesday."  The Senate listened to the voice of the American people and took quick action, but there is more work to do to prevent a Medicare meltdown.  Our new poll found that four out of five people want Congress to act immediately to stop the Medicare physician payment cut.  The AMA will stay closely engaged to ensure that Congress takes quick action to stop the cut for 12 months before the latest deadline expires on January 1 and the 25 percent cut begins."    



Katherine M. Hatwell
AMA Media Relations