Saturday, March 6, 2010


On March 2, 2010, Congress passed legislation that extends the temporary freeze of Medicare physician payment cuts for 31 days. The bill passed with bipartisan support by a vote of 78 -- 19. This 31 day patch is retroactive and will reverse the temporary 22% cut that took effect on March 1, 2010. Congress is expected to vote soon on legislation that could include another 30 day, 7 month or 9 month freeze for Medicare physician payments. I continue to oppose short term fixes to the flawed SGR payment formula, and I continue to advocate for enactment of a long-term physician payment solution. You can help by writing your Representive and Senator.  Below is a sample letter that you may want to use as a guide. You can find your members of Congress by visiting the links below and entering your zip code.

United States House of Reprensatives
Enter your zip code in the field on the top left portion of the screen

United States Senate
Select your state using the pull down menu located on the top right of the screen

Representative ________             or Senator__________

Attn: Health Legislative Asst.            Attn: Health Legislative Asst.
____House Office Bldg.                   _____Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20515                   Wasington, DC 20510

Dear Representative ____           or Dear Senator______

My doctor has always been there to take care of me.  I am worried about my doctor's ability to continue to accept my Medicare insurance.  Over the past few years, increased pressures on the Medicare program have made it difficult for many doctors to continue to accept Medicare, and I am concerned that my doctors may have to quit the program or limit the number of Medicare patients thay see.

In addition, costs for doctors to provide service to me have continued to rise. Any expansion of coverage or reform of the health care system that doesn't first address problems in the existing system is doomed to fail.  Please find a way to replace the flawed formula that determines Medicare reimbursements with one that is fully paid for without borrowing from future Medicare payments or benefits.  This should be a sustainable and long term solution, and one that more closely reflects the actual increased costs of providing medical care. 

Please make stabilization of Medicare a top priority.  I want to know that a surgeon will be there when I need one.  Please keep my doctor in Medicare.  I thank you in advance for taking care of an issue that is vital to all Americans.