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Monday, December 6, 2010

ANOTHER MEDICARE MELTDOWN COMING JAN. 1

The one-month freeze on physicians’ Medicare rates that Congress passed and President Obama signed expires Dec. 31. Without further congressional action, Medicare payments will be cut 25 percent on Jan. 1. Several plans to freeze current rates for all of 2011 are circulating on Capitol Hill. Right now, the vehicle we’re watching most closely is the bill the lame duck Congress must pass to extend the Bush-era income tax rate cuts. The biggest roadblock is how Congress will pay the $15 billion cost of a one-year freeze. All of this uncertainty continues to frustrate Texas physicians and your patients. “Each time Congress plays this game of chicken, the cut to physicians grows deeper, and fear among our patients and physicians increases,” said TMA President Sue Bailey, MD. In Texas alone, more than 3 million patients’ health care could be put into jeopardy. Stay tuned.

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