Doctors’ Groups Break Ranks To Oppose Senate Health Overhaul
The California Medical Association which represents more than 35,000 doctors will announce its opposition to the Senate version of the health overhaul bill later this week, the Los Angeles Times reports. The group's leaders voted to oppose the bill last week, joining several other states, including Florida and Texas. A chief worry for doctors is that the Senate bill would create a Medicare commission that may assume some power for setting rates for the program. They anticipate that it would lower Medicare reimbursements by 40 percent in coming years. The American Medical Association has taken no position on the Senate bill but did back a House version last month. The California Association remained silent then (Hennessy-Fiske, 12/3).
A 240,000-strong coalition of surgeons, including the American College of Surgeons and 18 other groups, indicated Wednesday that they would oppose the Senate bill, too, The Hill reports. They "stressed they could not support that proposal because it inadequately addressed Medicare's doctor payment system, included a overly powerful Medicare payment-setting commission and created a new, unfair cosmetic surgery excise tax."
In a letter, the surgeons reminded Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that they had outlined those concerns in an earlier correspondence. "Since those concerns have not been adequately addressed, as detailed below, we must oppose the legislation as currently written (Romm, 12/2).