Update: I appear to have been drawn in by polemics from a group not prone to them. See Health Care BS for details.
Both Texas Senators (both Republicans). I’m reproducing the email I got today from TMA after the break.
Thanks for nothing, Senators.
Texas Senators Again Broke Promise
Sens. John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison last night chose to protect insurance companies’ profits instead of protecting our patients’ health. All Texas physicians should be deeply offended by their decision, and we need to let them know exactly how we feel.
A bill to forestall the looming 10.6-percent cut in physicians’ Medicare payments fell one vote short on the floor of the U.S. Senate last night. Either Senator Hutchison or Senator Cornyn could have made the difference. Instead they chose to play partisan politics with our patients’ health and voted to defend unnecessary overpayments to certain Medicare Advantage health plans.
For months, Senators Cornyn and Hutchison have promised physicians they would not let the cut take place on July 1. Twice in the past two weeks, they’ve voted against bills that would have stopped the cut. Now it is just four days from taking effect.
Please contact both of our senators today. Tell them we expect them to keep their promise. It’s up to them to stop the cut.
House Resolution 6331 flew through the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this week. It stalled in the Senate last night. The bill would:
- Stop the cut, continue current rates for the rest of this year, and provide an additional 1.1-percent increase in 2009;
- Give Congress 18 months to devise a long-term replacement for the sustainable growth rate (SGR) financing formula, as we demand in TMA’s Texas Medicare Manifesto;
- Extend the Geographical Practice Cost Index, which protects physicians practicing in most of Texas; and
- Provide parity for Medicare mental health benefits and increase coverage for preventive services.
See the TMA Grassroots Action Center for some simple talking points and an easy way to contact Senators Hutchison and Cornyn. If you want to call them directly, here are the numbers to their Capitol Hill offices:
- Sen. John Cornyn: (202) 224-2934
- Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison: (202) 224-5922
Please don’t pass up this opportunity to hold our senators accountable for their actions.
Josie R. Williams, MD
Texas Medical Association