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AARP Disappointed by Senate’s Vote to Block Protection of Access to Medicare Doctors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 21, 2009

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AARP Media Relations, media@aarp.org

AARP Disappointed by Senate’s Vote to Block Protection of Access to Medicare Doctors
S. 1776 would have preserved access by replacing flawed payment system

WASHINGTON—AARP today criticized the Senate’s vote to block the Medicare Physician Fairness Act (S. 1776)—a bill that would have preserved access to doctors for people in Medicare. A statement from AARP Senior Vice President David Sloane follows:

“On behalf of our 40 million members, AARP is deeply disappointed that legislation to preserve seniors’ access to their doctors was blocked in the U.S. Senate today, proving once again Washington lawmakers would rather play political games than protect the needs of seniors.

“The Senate’s failure to fix the flawed doctor payment system means that payment rates for doctors in Medicare could be cut by 21.5 percent in just a few months. Short-term patches to preserve physician pay make the access problem worse by undermining doctors’ confidence in the Medicare program.

“AARP supported this bill because it would have given Medicare patients the certainty they deserve in knowing that access to their doctors would be preserved. Despite today’s setback, AARP will keep fighting for a legislative solution that will protect seniors’ access to their doctors and ensure they can get the care they need to stay healthy.”

For more information on AARP’s health care reform effort, please visit http://www.aarp.org/health/articles/health_reform_get_the_facts.html.

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 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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