Congress is closer than ever to passing a health system reform bill, and we can't lose this opportunity for real health reform. However, members of the AMA's Patients' Action Networkand doctors from around the country--in states like Florida, Nebraska, Colorado, Texas andMissouri--are all concerned about how this legislation will affect your access to your doctor.
In the U.S. Senate, the health reform bill that's been proposed would use Medicare as a foundation--and that foundation is crumbling because of an archaic payment system already in place. This system is scheduled to cut Medicare physician payments by more than 20 percent Jan. 1, 2010, with repeated annual cuts coming after that.
These annual cuts are a huge problem for patients--and for many families--because they will prevent doctors from taking on new Medicare patients, discourage many from investing in new health technology and make some think about closing their medical practices altogether.
Right now, the Senate is promoting another one-year Band-Aid for this problem, which means that we’ll be dealing with an even bigger problem next year.