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The American Medical Association is criticizing "a Senate plan for avoiding a proposed 21 percent cut in government payments to physicians who treat the elderly, calling the proposal a 'Band-Aid' measure," Bloomberg/BusinessWeek reports.
"The plan, part of an $80 billion job-creation proposal announced yesterday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, would block the Medicare payment cuts from taking place as scheduled March 1." But the AMA "urged a permanent repeal of Medicare's payment formula, which has led the government to propose annual fee cuts. While Congress has overridden the payment reductions each year so doctors would continue to treat elderly patients, the Chicago-based group backed a permanent fix in companion legislation to a proposed revamp of the U.S. health-care system, which now is stalled" (Thomas, 2/10).