On Jan. 1, Congress reached a last-minute deal to avert a 26.5 percent Medicare payment cut which would have severely hurt access to care for Medicare beneficiaries. Current Medicare payment rates have been extended through Dec. 31, 2013.
While Congress was able to delay drastic cuts for one year, their work is not complete. The current structure of the Medicare program is increasingly unreliable for physicians and patients. The routine delays, last-minute actions and “kick the can” approach by Congress only reinforces the need for change and long-term reforms in the Medicare program.
The newly elected members of the 113th Congress will take office this week and have the opportunity to work in moving Medicare towards a more reliable and stable system that preserves patients’ access to care. Pressure must remain on lawmakers to permanently repeal the sustain growth rate (SGR) formula and enable common sense, sustainable Medicare reforms in 2013.
The Patients’ Action Network will continue to provide the latest information on the path to repeal of the SGR and reforming Medicare. Stay tuned for new action alerts and ways to remain engaged with your lawmakers. Thank you for your phone calls and emails to Congress on behalf of patients and preserving access to care.