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Sen. Paul Introduces Access to Physicians in Medicare Act

Protects seniors from losing access to quality health care

Jun 25, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Sen. Rand Paul today introduced the Access to Physicians in Medicare Act, which aims to reform the current physician reimbursement formula for Medicare patients and replace it with a formula that is similar to the one used to calculate cost-of-living increases for Social Security benefits.

"As an eye surgeon, many of my patients are seniors, and many of those seniors are Medicare recipients," Sen. Paul said. "Medicare, in its constant quest to save money, cuts physician reimbursement and in turn puts America's seniors at risk of losing their access to quality health care. I know the value of quality care and I want to ensure our nation's seniors continue to get it."

BACKGROUND:

The Access to Physicians in Medicare Act aims to repeal the current reimbursement formula known as the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) and replace it with the same formula used to calculate cost-of-living increases for Social Security benefits with a cap set at 3 percent so that physicians will be able to practice medicine without the threat of massive pay cuts each year. This legislation is paid for by repealing the expansion of Medicaid and subsidy payments under Obamacare with any remaining savings going toward deficit reduction.

The legislation:

  • Repeals SGR formula used to calculate physician reimbursement under Medicare and replaces it with a formula based on the U.S. Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).
  • Prevents a harmful 30 percent cut to physician reimbursement currently set to enact on Jan. 1, 2013, which will jeopardize seniors' access to quality health care.
  • Provides for an annual increase of not more than 3 percent to physician reimbursement each year beginning in 2013.
  • Paid for by repealing Medicaid expansion and subsidies payments under Obamacare.

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