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Public Statements

Looming Crisis for Our Seniors

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. BUERKLE. Mr. Speaker, I rise to call attention to a looming crisis for our seniors. We are facing the very real prospect of millions of Americans losing their access to health care providers because of reductions in Medicare payments to physicians due to the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate, SGR, formula.

Mr. Speaker, on January 1, 2011, the SGR formula will trigger a 27.4 percent pay cut across the board for Medicare physician services. According to the AMA, in my home State of New York, Mr. Speaker, the cut will amount to $28,000 per physician. That loss makes it harder for physicians to pay for office staff, space, and equipment, which translates, Mr. Speaker, to decreased access to care for many patients.

Many physicians have indicated that they will no longer accept Medicare patients. Our seniors, Mr. Speaker, rely on Medicare, which they have paid into and has been there for them.

Mr. Speaker, doctors want to provide care to our seniors, and we cannot allow Medicare payment cuts to prevent doctors from serving all of their patients. Our doctors deserve better. Our seniors deserve better.

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