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New AARP, AMA Ad Calls on Congress to Fix Physician Pay Associations Launch National TV Ad Today

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 20, 2010

Contact
AARP Media Relations, media@aarp.org
202-434-2560

New AARP, AMA Ad Calls on Congress to Fix Physician Pay Associations Launch National TV Ad Today

WASHINGTON— A new ad, launched today by AARP and the American Medical Association (AMA), urges the Senate to fix a flawed physician payment formula, which is set to reduce payments to physicians caring for people in Medicare and veterans by an unprecedented 21 percent in March of this year.

The ad explains to viewers that such a drastic cut in reimbursement rates could deny countless veterans and seniors access to care. The ad urges viewers join AARP and AMA’s fight to protect their health by calling their senators and tell them to permanently fix the physician payment formula.

The threat of such steep cuts in Medicare payment rates puts access to care in jeopardy as physicians may stop taking Medicare patients. Knowing these cuts are a month away also erodes physicians’ confidence in the government’s commitment to keeping Medicare strong and reliable.

“Our members tell us that ensuring access to their physicians is a top priority.” said AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond. “We urge Congress to give America’s seniors peace of mind by permanently fixing the physician payment formula.”

For seven years, Congress has taken a “band-aid” approach to fixing the flawed formula. Instead of permanently replacing the flawed formula with a payment system that ensures seniors have access to their doctors, Congress has passed a series of short-term patches, which have only served to increase both the size of future cuts and the cost of subsequent interventions.

The ad will run in Georgia, Florida, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The ad can be found at http://www.aarp.org/getthefacts.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.5 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's nearly 40 million members and Americans 50+; AARP Segunda Juventud, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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