Join AARP today. Get instant access to discounts, programs, services and the information you need to benefit every area of your life.
From the AARP Bulletin Print Edition, December 1, 2010
Almost lost in the midterm election hoopla is the fact that Congress will still have to make decisions this year on everything from jobless benefit extensions to tax cuts. In addition, many doctors and older adults are anxiously waiting for lawmakers to address the scheduled pay cuts to Medicare doctors.
If no action is taken, Medicare reimbursements to physicians could drop at least 25 percent. The 1997 Balanced Budget Act included a formula to try to keep costs in check, but Congress has waived cutbacks and increased payments every year.
The American Medical Association has urged passage of a 13-month patch to the program, just to get the issue off the table while the new Congress settles in. What's more likely is that lawmakers will stave off the cuts for a few months until the new Republican-led House can deal with the issue.
The AMA says that without a fix, some doctors will stop taking Medicare patients.
Meanwhile, the series of short-term fixes to date "creates a dangerous atmosphere for seniors and their doctors," says AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond. "Finding a physician is already a challenge for older Americans."
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Learn about isolation and how you can make a difference
Rate bonus on high-yield online savings account
This tool helps you identify your pills by color, shape and markings.
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at