One of the major reasons I hear from seniors is because they can’t find a doctor who takes Medicare patients, or they are afraid their doctor will stop seeing them. This problem will get much worse if Congress does not act now to stop a 25 percent pay cut for Medicare doctors, scheduled to take place on Jan. 1, 2011.
More than one million Massachusetts seniors rely on Medicare. They have earned their Medicare, and the security of knowing they can keep seeing the doctors they count on.
But, more than 10 years ago, Congress created a flawed system to pay Medicare doctors. Since then, Medicare payments have gone up 1 percent while the cost of practicing medicine in the Commonwealth has increased 34 percent. The numbers just don’t add up, and today, Medicare does not pay doctors what it costs to care for seniors.
If Congress does not fix the system now — and the 25 percent pay cut goes into effect — some doctors may be forced to stop treating Medicare patients altogether, leaving seniors without the care they need.
Let me be clear: This is not a partisan issue. Both parties share responsibility for creating the system, and both parties share responsibility for fixing it. And, if there’s one thing AARP members agree on, regardless of political affiliation, they want Congress to work together so seniors can continue to see the doctors they trust.
AARP is fighting against this cut — and to stop Congress from driving doctors out of Medicare. If you or a family member counts on Medicare, I urge you to contact Sen. Scott Brown, Sen. John Kerry and your U.S. representative, and tell them to keep doctors in Medicare.
I am a member of the Boston Branch of the NAACP. I have been a member well over 15 years. I initially joined as a result of the youth violence during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
I am trying to really remain optimistic with whomever wins this week’s election to choose the next branch president.
Our community is in peril. The educational system is hemorrhaging, unemployment is too high and crime remains unbelievable. Pick a topic and communities of color are in the middle of a train wreck.
There is a lot of work to do and I am not interested in egos, sour grapes nor attitudes. If you are joining the branch for prestige and fame then you need to move to Hollywood. We need members who are going to bring positive energy, hands ready to work and minds to solve problems. If that describes you, we would love to have you join us to do the seemingly impossible: Reclaim our dignity, respect and honor.