2010-12-03 / Letters

Medicare Recipients Lose Out

Dear Editor,

At the stroke of midnight on December 31, 2010, doctors who treat Medicare patients are scheduled to absorb a 25 percent pay cut – a cut that threatens the ability of seniors to see their physicians and receive the care they need. It is up to Congress to stop this pay cut and ensure that doctors are not driven out of Medicare.

On behalf of the more than 2.3 million AARP members in New York State and all seniors who have earned their Medicare benefits by working hard and paying into the system, I am calling on Congress to take responsibility and act to ensure that older Americans have access to the doctors they trust.

AARP is not alone in believing that the Medicare payment system is broken and requires a permanent fix. But it isn’t the flawed physician payment system that concerns so many of our members here in New York and elsewhere. It is, rather, the prospect of suddenly being without a physician.

According to a recent AARP poll, over 80 percent of AARP members are concerned that a Medicare pay cut will threaten access to their doctors. As people age, they face increasing health issues so a trusted relationship with their physician becomes increasingly important. They are also less likely to be able to travel long distances for care.

As the New Year approaches, there is one resolution that Medicare patients would like to see made by Congress: honor the commitment to Medicare patients and the physicians who care for them.

MARILYN PINSKY
PRESIDENT, NEW YORK STATE AARP

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