The AARP recently told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that the physician fix was their “No. 1 priority,” sending out a clear message that they want doctors to continue treating Medicare patients.
“They know that if we don't take care of this, senior citizens will lose their ability to see a doctor,” Reid told reporters this week.
If left unchecked, physicians face an “unprecedented 21.5% cut” in Medicare payment rates in 2010, with additional cuts in future years, according to the letter from the groups.
In a related development, preliminary figures from congressional actuaries indicate that the House health reform bill, the America's Affordable Health Choices Act, will cost under $900 billion.
These numbers “are by no means final as we will send new policy specifications” to the Congressional Budget Office, said an aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). “But they do confirm, as the speaker has said, that the coverage provisions of the House bill will be under $900 billion and we will have a public option.”
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