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Roskam Fights to Block Cuts in Medicare Payments to Physicians

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Roskam Fights to Block Cuts in Medicare Payments to Physicians

Congressmen Peter J. Roskam (R-IL) today coauthored a bipartisan letter urging top Democratic and Republican leaders in the House of Representatives to address looming cuts in Medicare payments to physicians before they are imposed on July 1, 2008. The letter also supports enactment of a positive Medicare payment update for a more stable, extended period of time, thus allowing Congress to enact meaningful, long-term reform.

"Despite the rising costs of living, Congress is unwisely poised to cut Medicare payments for physicians, severely limiting access to medical care for an ever growing senior population," said Roskam. "If such cuts are enacted, Illinois will lose $510 million for the care of elderly and disabled patients over the next year, and $10 billion over eight years. It is my sincere hope the bipartisan support from many of my fellow colleagues will help restore this funding, insuring that Medicare patients can find physicians in their community with the financial ability to treat them."

Please find the letter below:

Dear Chairmen and Ranking Republican Members:

As you know, we enacted legislation in December to postpone the scheduled 10.1 percent cut in Medicare payments for physicians and other health care professionals. While the legislation replaced this cut with a 0.5 percent increase, the law will impose additional cuts of 10.6 percent effective July 1st. These scheduled cuts lead to uncertainty for physicians and their patients under Medicare.

The past practice of providing short term fixes has resulted in instability for Medicare patients and their doctors. We are committed to ensuring that these impending cuts are prevented prior to June 30, 2008. Additionally, we support the enactment of a positive Medicare payment update for a more stable, extended period of time, thus allowing Congress to enact meaningful, long-term reforms.

Medicare seniors look to their doctor as the key professional in charge of their care. Every aspect of our health care system from hospitals to rural health clinics relies upon the skills and services of physicians. A stable payment structure for physician services is critical. The impending cuts will only destabilize the Medicare program and jeopardize all patients' access to care if not addressed in a thoughtful manner. It is critical that we work together in a bipartisan fashion to enact legislation early in this year to stop the Medicare cuts.


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